By Alan Hutton

29th Jul, 2020 | 7:00am

Exclusive: Hutton drops first-hand Villa dressing room reveal after narrow escape

Alan Hutton has revealed what Dean Smith will have told the Aston Villa squad in the dressing room ahead of their crunch clash with West Ham.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa ace delivered a first-hand verdict of his old manager and how he would have dealt with the pressure of the final day.

Villa escaped the drop with a 1-1 draw with the Irons as Watford, who needed to better the Villans’ result to survive, lost 3-2 to Arsenal.

Hutton, who played under Smith for over half a season after his appointment in 2018, has lifted the lid on what his old boss is like in such high-pressure situations.

Asked what Smith would have said in the dressing room, Hutton told Football Insider: Just leave everything out on the pitch, give everything – he demands that normally.

“There’s nothing worse than coming back in after 90 minutes and thinking you could probably have given a little bit more.

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“Just the way they defended, everybody looked up for it, looked strong mentally as well so I think they coped with it on the day. Dean Smith always backs his players, no matter what so it’s always good to have someone like that in your corner.

“Overall I’m glad for him, he deserves to be in charge of Villa in my opinion. There’s a lot going on in there he can’t control so he does his best with what he’s got on the pitch and he’s got them through.” 

Jack Grealish opened the scoring on Sunday but saw the ball deflect off his foot and into his own net just minutes later to make it a nervy finish for Villa.

They ended the season 17th in the table, just one point off Bournemouth who beat Everton in their final game of the campaign.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has made an “enormous” squad claim after calling the players on the team bus.

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