Dean Smith issues warning to Aston Villa flops as fans rage at players
Dean Smith has warned his Aston Villa players he wants the claret and blue faithful chanting their names by the end of the season after booing them off at Wigan Athletic.
Villa were lethargic against the Latics and paid the price for a shocking performance with a 3-0 victory at the DW Stadium.
The latest setback leaves Villa 12th in the Championship table, five points off the play-offs and 12 behind the top two.
Villa’s players left the field to boos and chants of of ‘we’re f****** s***’ from large sections of the unimpressed 4,999 travelling contingent.
Smith has told his under-achievers that they must win round the Villa Park faithful, starting with next weekend’s home match against Hull City.
“There’s the disappointment of the supporters who came in their numbers expecting to see us get a victory and certainly a better performance,” said Smith.
“I’m not going to make any excuses about that.
“The players have been told in the dressing room now what we have to do is make sure when we come back to Villa Park we certainly put in a better performance than we did.
“Hopefully come the end of the season we can have those supporters who were rightly annoyed today singing their names.”
Smith described the setback as the lowest point in his managerial career.
He added: “I told the players after the game this is the bottom of where I’ve been so far in my managerial career. And it should be the bottom of where Aston Villa is.
“I’m an Aston Villa fan and to lose 3-0 two weeks on the spin is very, very disappointing. That performance was rubbish – it was very poor.
“And I’ve got to earn my money now and make sure it never happens again. Overall I thought they ran harder than we did and that’s the disappointing thing.”
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Villa have suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats with Wigan Athletic the latest team to pile misery on the Lions.
Smith was hoping for a reaction to last weekend’s dismal FA Cup exit at the hands of Swansea City but got anything but.
A lacklustre performance culminated in Villa getting thumped by Paul Cook’s side courtesy of strikes from Gary Roberts, Michael Jacobs and Joe Garner.
Villa almost got away with a drab first half performance but Roberts struck minutes before the interval to give the Latics a deserved lead.
Lovre Kalinic had twice come to his side’s rescue with both Josh Windass and Joe Garner unable to beat Villa’s goalkeeper from close range.
Villa’s best chance of the first 45 fell to Tammy Abraham but the forward curled the ball wide with just Latics ‘keeper Jamie Jones to beat.
Smith’s half-time rollicking didn’t have the desired effect, though, with the claret and blues producing an even worse second 45.
Michael Jacobs made the game safe late on after heading home Lee Evans’ left wing cross on 79 minutes.
There was still time for it to get worse with substitute Glenn Whelan bringing down Windass in the box for a penalty. Garner stepped up to fire home the spot-kick and round off a woeful day for Villa.
Most of the 4,499 Villans in attendance had vacated the away end by the final whistle but those who remained let the players know exactly what they thought of their dire display.
Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook said: “I’m delighted to win. It’s been a tough couple of months for us, since we beat Blackburn at home (on 28 November).
“But watching us today, you could never imagine we were a team that was in trouble. I thought from the first minute to the 90th minute we were excellent.
“We coped with any danger at our end, but also all of the key decisions went our way. To win games, sometimes that’s the way it’s got to be.
“In the blink of an eye, suddenly the world seems a brighter place.”
Here’s a selection of comments from Villa fans on social media
James Kay: I trust smith, but we were horrendous today. Worst I’ve seen in a long time, and I thought last week was bad. Lads need to learn how to survive without Grealish! 3 or more consecutive passes might help
Daniel Sherratt-Amorelli: An absolute disgrace. Something has gone wrong the last few weeks and it needs looking at. Smith needs to sort things out SHARPISH.
Dawn Simmonds: Disappointing day are you having a laugh… it’s a diabolical result, and I don’t want to hear yeah but injuries blah blah, 3-0 against Wigan is nothing short of a disgrace.
Cian McParland: Very, very poor performance against a side near the bottom of the league……. Safe to say no playoffs with these kind of performances.
Jack Install: Don’t care how many games are left, we will not go up this season! absolutely shocking, should be ashamed of themselves
Andrew O’Hagan: We can forget about play offs. That was brutal stuff
Villa vs Hull City, Championship, Villa Park, 3pm, Saturday, January 19
Hull City’s 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday lifted them above Villa in the Championship table.
The Tigers have 39 points, one more than Villa, and Nigel Adkins’ team are 10th, two places higher than Smith’s team.
They come to Villa Park next weekend on the back of six league wins on the spin.
Their latest was secured thanks to Two goals from Jarrod Bowen and one from Fraizer Campbell.
“I thought we completely dominated the game and should have had more goals,” said Adkins.
“Great credit to the players and it was a great atmosphere. We keep talking about driving the performance and believing in ourselves.
“There were a lot of good performances across the board. It was an entertaining game, we were strong and it shows how far we have come.”