Paul Robinson has called Dean Smith’s decision to reinstate Pepe Reina to the Aston Villa starting XI a “very clever move” despite a 2-0 loss to Liverpool on Sunday.
The former Spurs and Leeds United number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted he was baffled by the selection of Orjan Nyland for the first few games of the restart.
Nyland was replaced by Reina, 37, for the trip to Liverpool after shaky performances from the Norway international against Sheffield United and Wolves.
Reina was helpless to the goals scored by Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones as the Premier League champions secured their first three points since winning the title.
Robinson was impressed with the Spanish keeper’s performance and tipped him to play a crucial role from now until the end of the season.
“He played very well and I am not surprised,” he told Football Insider.
“I expected him to put Reina back in and I was shocked that he picked Nyland in the first place. It was a strange decision and Smith offered no reason for it.
“I worry that it is too little, too late for Aston Villa given the way they are playing.
“Smith bringing Reina back into the team was a very clever move. They need his experience and we know he has great ability as well.
“He will be important on the pitch and in the dressing room and that is so important when you are in a predicament, like they are.”
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that John Terry has emerged as a candidate to become the manager of a Championship club.
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