Smith furious with dismal Villa display

Aston Villa
Dean Smith says Aston Villa showed their "togetherness" in getting the better of Everton on Friday and now wants them to kick on.

Dean Smith says he was "embarrassed" with Aston Villa's 2-0 defeat at Southampton and says some players have lost their League Cup final place.

Villa’s relegation fears deepened after goals from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong at St Mary’s condemned them to a third straight loss on Saturday.

The visitors did not muster a single shot on target in a dismal display which will set alarm bells ringing in the West Midlands.

The relegation battle will be put to one side next weekend when Villa face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, but Smith’s side will have to improve significantly if they are to stand any chance against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Smith hit out at his players for their abject performance and admitted some have now played their way out of contention for a place in his side for the final.

The Villa boss said: “My feelings are embarrassment with the performance. The thing that hurts me the most is a lack of fight. I take full responsibility. It has to be the lowest of the low. The defeat at Watford was bad but this was on a par.

“They’ve let themselves down with their own personal performances. We got beaten and deservedly so. There were too many training-ground players. You’ve got to perform on a match day and too many players didn’t.

“Our quality just wasn’t there today. Some of them have played their way out of a cup final.”

Villa are now a place and a point above the relegation zone after the poor defeat, while Saints are 10 points clear of trouble after Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side picked up a deserved win.

After the Wembley date, Villa face two tough fixtures as they go away to Leicester City on March 9 before hosting Chelsea on March 14.