Dean Smith says his Aston Villa players are driven to improve

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith believes the players have embraced his plea for them to take more responsibility as they prepare to host Bolton on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.

After leaving Brentford for Villa, Smith’s tenure began with a 1-0 home victory over Swansea in the Sky Bet Championship, but they have since slipped to two straight defeats away to Norwich and QPR.

A Villa vs Bolton

November 2, 2018, 7:00pm

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Smith was pleased by the reaction in their debrief following the 1-0 loss to QPR last week and welcomed the issues members of the squad raised.

“We did a debrief on Monday and spoke about some things we can do better but we also spoke about the positives,” he said.

“The players are really receptive, get involved in discussion. I’ve said before I want them to take responsibility and become responsible and some of the points they brought forward were really good and will help us as a group moving forward.

“On the training ground it has been very good. They are a good group who want to get better.”

After winning his first match in charge after taking over from Steve Bruce, Smith lost his next two but knows expectations are high heading into a match against opponents who have won just once in 11 matches.

“It’s another game in this league Aston Villa will be expected to win, but Bolton will have something to say about it,” he added.

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