Alan fired up by new boys
DEAN SMITH insists Aston Villa’s promotion chances have not taken a dive, despite their horror show at Wigan.
Just one win in seven games has seen them slip 12 points off the automatic promotion places and five off the play-offs.
But Villa boss Smith is backing the players to get their promotion push back on track.
“We have had two defeats in 12,” he said. “We were poor, but I am not going to lose sight of the players I have got in that squad.
“I am not even looking at the table right now. There is a lot of ability in that dressing room.
“The players know this and it is down to them to turn it around.”
On the bright side they will not have to try too hard to improve on this performance as they were second best from the start.
Only some smart saves from Lovre Kalinic on his Championship debut kept them in the game for the first 40 minutes.
But there was little the Croatian could do about Gary Roberts’ opener after some classy wing play from another new face, Wigan’s Anthony Pilkington.
A spectacular diving header from Michael Jacobs on his return after three months out through injury and a penalty converted by Joe Garner in the second half sealed a deserved win for Wigan.
“It was a massive win,” said Jacobs. “Especially to get our home form going again and a clean sheet was nice as well.
“We have to look forwards as we have good games coming up against Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest away where we can go toe to toe with those sides.
“If we get an opportunity like we did to go and press Villa, then we have to go and do that against every team.”