Dean: ‘You’ve already done this’

By Graham Hill

DEAN Smith has told his Villa players: ‘You’re already history makers’ ahead of their Wembley clash with Derby County.

Smith was speaking to reporters ahead of the Championship Play-off final on Monday.

And he says that his Villa side can head into the game knowing they have already made a statement – now they have to use it to make sure of promotion.

Smith told Villa’s official TV channel: “It’s a long time to wait since the semi-final, a bit like an international break but you’ve still got all your players.

“That’s why we’ve broken it up for them a little bit.

“It’ll be a tough game, but one that, if we perform well, we can do very well in.”

Smith believes Villa will take a different approach to last year’s final when they started slowly only to lose to Fulham.

The Villa boss added: “What we’ve got that will help us is that for the last 15 or 16 matches we’ve been playing must win games.

“Each game we’ve taken in isolation and we’ve been on an unbelievable run.

“These players can take every credit for that.

“In the proud history of Aston Villa, they’re the first ones to have won 10 games in a row.

“They’re always going to be history makers, they’ve got that on their side already. They’re full of form, they beat West Brom who finished above us and we dominated both games. The right team went through.”

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