Exclusive: Kevin Phillips demands Smith axe Aston Villa senior star v Liverpool
Kevin Phillips has urged Dean Smith to drop Orjan Nyland as Aston Villa take on Premier League champions Liverpool today.
The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed it is time for the “more experienced keeper”, in Pepe Reina, to start after a number of mistakes from Nyland.
The Norway international was unconvincing in the 1-0 loss to Wolves on Saturday and nearly gifted Diogo Jota a goal after a sloppy throw.
On the Premier League’s return a goal-line technology error saved the goalkeeper’s blushes after he carried an Oliver Norwood free kick into his own side netting.
January loan signing, Reina, was preferred between the sticks prior to the lockdown but Dean Smith has started Nyland in every game since the return.
When asked by Football Insider if it was time to reinstate the former Liverpool shot-stopper for the trip to Anfield, Phillips said:
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“I actually backed Nyland but he has made a few mistakes. It happens with goalkeepers though, even those who are vastly experienced but it might be time for Dean Smith to change it.
“Villa are in a tough situation. It is very doom and gloom for them at the moment so bringing back in Reina with his experience could sure that area up.
“They cannot afford any more mistakes from their goalkeeper.
“I rate Nyland but I think it is time for the more experienced keeper to come in between the stick. It will help the defence.”
Nyland has made seven Premier League appearances this season and kept two clean sheets.
Villa are currently 18th and one point away from safety.
In other Aston Villa news, Alex Bruce reacts as club consider sacking Dean Smith.
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