Dean Smith has endured a mixed spell in the early stages of his time as Aston Villa boss, but he will be hoping his side can build on some positive recent performances.
One player who has been a regular under Smith since he arrived at the club is Alan Hutton who has started every game for Villa this season, and he seems to have cemented his position as first-choice right-back at Villa Park.
Smith’s side face a tough challenge this weekend if they are to pick up their first away points under Smith’s guidance as they travel to face an in-form Derby County side that are mounting a serious challenge for promotion to the Premier League.
Speaking to Aston Villa’s official website, Hutton admitted that his team-mates are aware of the threat that Lampard’s side pose to his side at the weekend in what is likely to be a fiercely contested game between the two sides.
‘They have started well. They have some dangerous players that we’re going to have to be aware of. But it’s about us – how we perform on the day.
The former Scottish international is confident that his side can match any team in the league, providing Villa can build on some positive performances under Dean Smith’s management.
‘We can match anyone in this league – in any game. If we work hard and do what we’ve been doing, I think we can cause them a lot of problems.
‘It’s a big period. We are playing some of our biggest rivals. But I believe we have the players to cope with such big games.’
I completely agree with Hutton’s comments and Aston Villa can definitely challenge the promotion-chasing sides this season.
If Dean Smith can get his side firing in the right direction, then they are sure to pose a threat to any team this season and once Villa are to hit a good run of form themselves, I can see them challenging for a top-six finish in this years campaign.
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