By Graham Hill
ASTON VILLA will make their Premier League return with a ‘no surrender’ attitude according to new signing Matt Targett.
Left-back Targett is one of 12 players to join Villa this summer after a £130million spending spree.
And the ex-Southampton defiender says Dean Smith has made it clear they are not there to make up the numbers.
Targett on loan at Fulham when beat Villa in the 2018 Championship Play-off Final.
Villa open the campaign at Tottenham next Saturday and Targett warned they will not be over-awed
Targett admitted: “The manager said he wants to go into every game wanting to win it, even if it’s against one of the top six.
“He doesn’t want to sit back, take a point or surrender defeat from the start.
“He wants to go for it and play attacking football. He wants to make that very clear, the manager is a winner. That’s the best feeling in football when you’re winning.
“We’ll see where that takes us, so I think it’ll be an exciting season.
“If you look at the signings they’re all young and they’ve all got lots of potential. It’s going to be a very enthusiastic team with lots of energy and looking to be on the front foot,”
Targett, 23, is finally getting the chance to be a first choice left-back after being in the shadows of Luke Shaw and Ryan Bertrand at Saints – it was also a production line that had produced Gareth Bale.
The £11million signing said: “I didn’t play as much as I’d like to have done at Southampton, obviously I was behind one of the best left-backs is in terms of been so consistent over the last three or four years, Ryan Bertrand.
“It was difficult for me to get in the team, and I’m coming up to 24 in September, so I think it’s the right time for me to move on and maybe establish myself at Villa.”
“Luke Shaw was there before that, two very good left backs and it was nice to learn off them, but you get to a certain stage where you want to be in front of them. And that didn’t happen.”
Targett admitted it did not take long for him to get in a dig about beating Villa at Wembley – it came up during his MEDICAL!
He explained: “I thought I’d rub it in a bit.
“I think there was a bit of both in me mentioning it and them mentioning it. They were going on about how great their day out was at Wembley in May, and I said yes, the year before was even better!
“Towards the end of that game, me and Jack had a little argument, we bring that up and look back on it but now we laugh. But they’ve all been good at Villa and everyone’s welcomed me, it’s been great here.”