By Alan Hutton

5th Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Hutton makes 'massive' claim after what he saw in Aston Villa dugout

Alan Hutton has suggested rivals may copy Aston Villa after the appointment of Austin MacPhee as a set-piece specialist coach.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa defender revealed he was thrilled with what he saw from the 41-year-old in the dugout against Tottenham on Sunday.

As quoted by the Birmingham Mail, manager Dean Smith revealed he always wanted a set-piece coach ahead of MacPhee’s appointment in August.

The former Hearts coach joined from FC Midtjylland, with Smith revealing sporting director Johan Lange was “very excited” to get him on board.

Hutton, who was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Villa’s 2-1 defeat, revealed he kept a close eye on MacPhee.

He admitted he was buzzing over what he saw.

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Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “You try and squeeze everything out of a game.

“If a set-piece coach comes in and he allows you to score five, six, seven goals a season through that then brilliant. Sometimes fresh ideas, a new face, the players like that.

“I was actually watching him when they were getting set-plays and he was out in the technical area. It was as if he was the coach, he was calling for what play he wanted.

“The players were looking over and he was doing a couple of calls, a couple of movements. The next thing, they were taking the set-piece. They’re all buying into it, which is a good thing.

“You can see that they’ve really worked hard on it and it can get you goals. We saw against Newcastle, Ing’s overhead kick, it’s working, which is great to see.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if more teams went down that route with a set-piece specialist. It’s massive nowadays.”

In other news, Smith will regret Aston Villa player blunder versus Tottenham, claims pundit.