Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Smith: It’s important Villa Park is a fortress

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith wants his side to turn Villa Park into a ‘fortress’ as they aim for promotion to the Premier League.

Four points off the play-offs, Smith’s side host Stoke City on Saturday, and will be looking to continue their fine recent form having gone unbeaten in their six previous league fixtures.

Villa’s last home defeat was a 1-0 reverse against QPR in October, and Smith wants his side to enjoy playing in front of their home support.

“I just love playing at Villa Park.” Smith told the press ahead of his sides home clash against Stoke City tomorrow.

“Whoever we play against at Villa Park, they are in for a tough game because since I have been here the supporters have been right behind us and are making it difficult for any opposition team.

“It’s very important for Villa Park to be that fortress. We have had that so far since I came in. Long may that continue.

“We have to be on the front foot and attempt to win every game we play because we’re still playing catch-up.”

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