By Graham Hill
VILLA boss Dean Smith says he will only let emotions take over when the final whistle blows in the Championship play-off final.
Smith leads the club he grew up supporting to Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday to face Derby County for a place in the Premier League.
But he says he cannot afford to let sentiment get in the way of preparing his side for their second crack at play-off success in 12 months.
And he will only let his feelings show when the game is over – and if Villa have won promotion.
Villa players celebrated wildly at the final whistle after their penalty shoot-out victory over West Brom.
But Smith was one of the calmer figures at The Hawthorns as he knows the hard work must continue.
Smith told BBC Radio WM’s Football Phone-In: “I try to keep my emotions in check.
“I’ve been involved in the game for 30 years now, I’ve managed 400 games now. You get into a bit of a mode.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be something special – leading the Villa out at Wembley.
“But we’ve got a job to do. Hopefully, we can get that job done.
“People might see a few more emotions then.”
Villa have an aggregate of 7-0 over the two games with Derby this season – but Smith says that will not count for much at Wembley.
Smith added: “I’m not sure it will.
“You saw Derby’s performance at Leeds, that’ll give them a massive boost going into the game.
“They’ll know that, in a one-off game, anything can happen.
“But our performances over the past two months have been top-notch, we’re looking forward to it.”