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Aston Villa boss Smith defends goalkeeper Nyland

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has come to the defence of goalkeeper Orjan Nyland following Aston Villa’s midweek 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Nyland was criticised following the high scoring draw, with some sections of fans clamouring for the goalkeeper to be dropped after he conceded five goals in the fixture.

But, Smith has come to the defence of his goalkeeper in the wake of the fixture and has insisted that he doesn’t believe his goalkeeper could have done more in the fixture.

“I think the criticism he has received is harsh. On Wednesday, he didn’t have a chance for the first three goals. They were big chances for any team and I would expect us to score them against any goalkeeper.

“The fourth one (Lolley’s goal), you analyse it and see where it has gone into the net. I looked back this morning and you think: ‘I want my goalkeeper to get a hand on it’. That said, I cannot get away from the fact I was right behind it on Wednesday and as soon as it left his foot I thought: ‘That is a goal’.

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“I can’t take that initial reaction away and the feeling I had on the night. It was a super strike and sat up nicely for him.

“The one Orjan will probably be disappointed with his the fifth one, even though it takes a flick off Axel Tuanzebe’s heel.

“I can only comment on what I have seen since I have been here. Yes, he has had a couple of hairy moments, where he has spilled a couple of crosses.

“But I can honestly say since Neil Cutler has come in and been working with him, I have seen a lot of confidence in him. I think the players have got a lot of confidence in him now.

“I was stating a fact on Wednesday night that they had five shots on target and scored five goals. Four of those I don’t think he had any chance with.”

Smith will be hoping this newfound confidence can be expressed in their Saturday evening fixture against Middlesbrough, as Villa travel to the Riverside for a 5:30pm kick off.

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