An ‘honour’ to play in first game back, says Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Date published: Monday 15th June 2020 2:08

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says it will be an “honour” to be involved in the first Premier League to be played after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Football in England was brought to a halt in early March, shortly before lockdown was enforced, and it has now been over three months since the last Premier League game.

But play will resume on Wednesday evening when Villa host Sheffield United before Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Etihad.

And Smith says his side are looking forward to getting back on the field after a challenging few months.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Smith said: “It is an honour, the eyes of the world will be on us and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ve worked very hard, the players during the lockdown have been very compliant with all the work that we’ve set them and since the the non-contact training and contact training [returned], the players are itching to get back.

“The biggest problems we’ve probably had over this period of time is having no timelines to work from, so finally getting those fixtures was great to finally be able to fit in on my fixtures board and get in itinerary plan because we are people who plan ahead and it has been difficult to do that with no timeline.”

Smith, however, has hit out at one rule change he feels hampers Villa.

Villa are currently 19th in the Premier League and have just ten matches remaining to ensure they aren’t relegated after just one year back in the top flight.


They face a tough end to the season though, with games against Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal still left to play.


READ MORE: Get all the details of where and when you can watch Aston Villa v Sheffield United on Wednesday night.


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