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Smith certain Abraham will be first Aston Villa player since 1981 to net 20 league goals

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is certain that Tammy Abraham will score more than 20 goals this season.

It’s been almost 40 years since Aston Villa had a player reach the 20-goal milestone in a single season, but Tammy Abraham is on course to smash it this year, with the Chelsea loanee just three goals shy of the mark with 18 matches still left to play in the season.

Abraham has been key to the club’s promotion hopes this season, providing 17 goals in a topsy-turvy campaign that has seen the team oscillate between very good and downright awful.

Manager Dean Smith believes the striker will go above and beyond Peter Withe’s total in 1980/81, when the club won the old First Division.

“He will certainly do it. I have no doubts about that,” Smith told AVTV.

“With the chances we create and the attitude and application he’s got, I’m confident.

“We saw his endeavour on Saturday against Hull City. He worked very hard for the team and fully deserved his goal.

“Speaking to him, he was as disappointed as anybody with his own performance against Wigan where not a lot of people turned up. He was one.

“He wanted to put that right and he certainly did that at the weekend with a really good performance.

“I believe he will surpass the 20-goal mark and go on further, which is what I spoke to him about at the start of January.”

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