Dean Smith questions Aston Villa game management after collapse against Wolves

Villa lost a 2-0 lead in the last 10 minutes to lose against Wolves.

Nick Mashiter
Sunday 17 October 2021 12:27
Dean Smith criticised Aston Villa’s game management (Martin Rickett/PA)
Dean Smith criticised Aston Villa’s game management (Martin Rickett/PA)

Boss Dean Smith questioned Aston Villa’s game management after their late collapse against Wolves.

Ruben Neves’ deflected free-kick capped a remarkable comeback for Wolves as they recovered from 2-0 down with 10 minutes left to win 3-2 on Saturday.

Romain Saiss and Conor Coady cancelled out goals from Danny Ings and John McGinn before Neves’ injury-time effort hit Matt Targett to win it.

“At 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go you obviously question the game management and what we have done to enable them to win so many set pieces,” said Smith.

“My meeting before the game was to ask them for a performance because our standards dropped against Tottenham, I don’t think our standards dropped against Wolves, the performance was good.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t defend our box well enough from set pieces and we ended up losing a game we should never have lost.

“They had three set pieces, two from corners and we have actually won the first contact but after the second phase we went to sleep a little bit. Whether that was a lack of concentration or not I don’t know.”

Wolves have now won four of their last five games having lost their opening three outings to lift them to eighth in the Premier League.

“I never celebrate too much. I try to be calm, to take the best decisions, but after I’m happier than if we lose the game,” boss Bruno Lage said.

“Now our mind is to recover the players, we’ll see the things we need to improve and try to prepare ourselves for Leeds because they’re a strong opponent.

“I think the most important thing for me after the game is to realise it’s the days we want to live as a manager. That kind of thing can happen here, the Premier League, 2-0 down, 20 minutes, there’s time to play, for the players to believe.”

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