Smith in no doubt Villa will survive

Aston Villa
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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says his team will adopt a positive approach after claiming they will avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Villans are looking to prove their doubters wrong after earning promotion via the playoffs last season.

Villa looked out of the running for promotion, but Smith’s arrival helped them kickstart their campaign, and they went on to beat Derby County at Wembley in May.

Smith added 12 new signings to his squad in the summer, with Kortney Hause, Jota, Bjorn Engels, Tom Heaton, Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Marvelous Nakamba, Ezri Konsa, Douglas Luiz, Tyrone Mings and Wesley all moving to Villa Park.

Villa have endured a frustrating start to the season so far, winning just one of their first four games.

Their only success came against Everton on August 23, and they went into the international break on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

They will get the chance to respond when they take on West Ham United on Monday, but they will need to be at their best, with the Hammers having won their last three matches in all competitions.

Villa have only scored five goals in their first four league games, but Smith is confident they will shine.

He told BBC Football Focus: “It’s very easy in this league to go in and try not to lose. But I think there’s a big difference between trying to win and trying not to lose. My aim is to try and win.

“We will survive; I have no doubts about that. We knew there was going to be a step up with the opposition. The first four games I don’t think we played as well as we can. We haven’t played to our potential just yet.

“That’s something you have to learn from quickly.”

Villa remain one of the favourites for relegation, along with Norwich City, Newcastle United and Sheffield United, but the Canaries boosted their chances of survival by beating Manchester City.

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