Sunday 19

Aston Villa

Smith senses play-off run

15th March 2019, 16:59 by Aidan Perkins

Dean Smith believes his Aston Villa side have renewed confidence for their play-off push after their recent improvement in form.

Villa looked out of the promotion picture in January but have won their last three games in the Championship to force their way back into contention.

Smith's side are now eighth, two points behind Derby in the final play-off place, and entertain another team hoping for promotion this season, Middlesbrough, on Saturday.

After vital wins over local rivals Birmingham last weekend and then Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, Villa take on fifth-placed Boro with a spring in their step and Smith hopes they are hitting top form at just the right time.

"It’s very important to be winning games in March, April and May," he said in his press conference.

"We’re hoping that we haven’t given ourselves too much to do with the points we dropped in January. We have to move forward and look ahead now.

"There’s nine games to go, we need three points in each game. The results and performances have given us that confidence."

He added: "Playing the teams above you, we have got to catch them. Middlesbrough are in a position where we want to be. We have to put on a really good performance and beat them.

"It’s nice to get those wins in quick succession. It tightens the league up for us. We’ve just got to look at the next game and everybody is in a positive frame of mind."

For your chance to claim a £10 free stake and bet on your selection get amongst the market action now.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

More Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Smith happy with Villa's progress

18th May 2019, 19:27

Boss Dean Smith says Aston Villa are now a different animal to the team that lost in the Championship play-off final 12 months ago.

Aston Villa

Wembley win needed to boost transfer chances

17th May 2019, 20:05

Initial talks about turning Tryone Mings' loan spell from Bournemouth into a permanent Aston Villa transfer have reportedly begun.

Aston Villa

Smith pushing for a win

14th May 2019, 13:48

Aston Villa will be going all out for the win in Tuesday night's play-off semi final with West Brom, according to boss Dean Smith.

Aston Villa

Smith plays down Villa pressure

9th May 2019, 15:44

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says West Brom should be the favourites ahead of their Championship play-off battle.

Aston Villa

McGinn excited for play-off challenge

2nd May 2019, 15:43

John McGinn believes Aston Villa are in the perfect place as they eye promotion via the Championship play-offs.

Aston Villa

Villa loanee expected to make permanent switch

1st May 2019, 14:23

Aston Villa are understood to be confident of signing loanee Anwar El Ghazi on a free deal at the end of the season.

Recent Sport Headlines


Pope targeted by another Premier League side

19th May 2019, 19:23

Ex-Burnley boss Eddie Howe will reportedly make a £15million bid to take Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope to Bournemouth.


Howe eyes swoop on former club for England international

19th May 2019, 19:22

Bournemouth will reportedly make a £15million move for Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope as Eddie Howe continues his spending spree.


Woakes shines in England victory

19th May 2019, 19:05

England seamer Chris Woakes recorded his third five-wicket haul in Sunday's ODI win over Pakistan to boost his World Cup hopes.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs boss on Bayern radar

19th May 2019, 18:51

Bayern Munich are ready to make a move to try and lure Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino away in the summer, reports have said.


Nadal defeats Djokovic in Italian Open final

19th May 2019, 18:42

Rafael Nadal claimed his first ATP Tour title of 2019 after defeating Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Italian Open final.

Norwich City

Rhodes talks taking place - Report

19th May 2019, 18:39

Norwich are in talks to make Jordan Rhodes their first summer signing for a 'small fee', but his wages will be significant.


More TT joy for Roglic

19th May 2019, 18:19

Primoz Roglic again showed his class against the clock as he took stage nine of this year's Giro d'Italia in San Marino.


Valverde cools talk of imminent Griezmann arrival

19th May 2019, 18:18

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde doesn't expect Antoine Griezmann to join the club from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season.