Dean Smith expects winning response from Aston Villa after Sheffield United loss

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Boss Dean Smith has demanded an instant reaction as Aston Villa look to get their European hopes back on track.

Villa welcome Wolves on Saturday following Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

It dented their European challenge and left them ninth in the Premier League, seven points behind fifth-placed Everton with a game in hand.

The loss came after a 1-0 victory at Leeds and Smith expects his men to respond in their Midlands derby.

“We want to be as consistent as we can and we want reactions when we don’t perform well,” he said.

“There was a lot of frustration but we reviewed the game and the lads are still in a good place.

“It was a disappointing result – not so much the performance. We’d just been to Leeds and nullified a very good Leeds team, restricted them to a few chances.

“We restricted Sheffield United to even fewer chances. Unfortunately, we didn’t take our big chances on the night. In some ways we played better against Sheffield United than we did against Leeds but we didn’t get the result.

“Everybody table-watches a bit, and with Sheffield United at the bottom of the league you feel it’s one you should go and win.

“The lads are in a good place because they know they played well against Leeds and Sheffield United.”

Skipper Jack Grealish is expected to sit out as he continues to recover from a shin problem which has forced him to miss the last three games.

Matt Cash (hamstring), Kortney Hause (foot) and Wesley (knee) remain sidelined for Villa.

“Jack Grealish is doing better. He’s unlikely to play. I’ve not sat down with the medical staff yet but he was on the AlterG (treadmill) running yesterday,” Smith told a press conference.

“He looks pain-free now, so once I sit down with the medical staff we’ll decide what he’s doing.

“Matty Cash is still recovering. He’s in rehabilitation now and it shouldn’t be too long before he’s back training with us, so that’s good news.

“Welsey’s in full contact training with us now. The problem is arranging some games for Wesley to play. He’ll probably get involved in some Under-23 games, but that’s really good news because he’s been out for 14 or 15 months now.

“Kortney Hause should join in training with us next week, as well. That’s really good news.”

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