Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has backed his struggling team to pull off “mission impossible” by getting a result against champions Liverpool today and boosting their hopes of staying in the Premier League.
“People will see our game at Liverpool as Mission Impossible. Unfortunately we haven’t got Tom Cruise with us, but I’ve got 11 players and I’ve seen a desire in their eyes,” Smith told reporters ahead of the clash at Anfield.
Villa are 18th in the league with 27 points from 32 matches, having won only seven matches this season, despite spending close to ￡150 million (US$187.25 million) to overhaul their squad during the off-season.
A 1-0 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers last week was their 19th of the campaign, with Villa seeking their first win since the league restarted following the COVID-19 stoppage.
“They feel stung by criticism, you’re going to get criticism when you’re in a position we’re in. Their job is to prove people wrong. Without a doubt, we’ve seen a better Villa after the break,” Smith said.
“The points tally hasn’t shown that, we played Wolves last week and they’re pushing for the Champions League ... there was nothing between the two teams. The only quality on show was the goal,” he said.
“If we manage to stay up this season, which I believe we will, there’ll be a better Villa next year,” he said.
“I’ve still not been relegated as a manager and don’t expect to be this season,” he said.
In other games today, Wolves face Arsenal, Chelsea play Watford, Burnley take on Sheffield United and Newcastle United are to play West Ham United.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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