By Alan Hutton

2nd Oct, 2021 | 8:00am

Hutton makes Smith sack claim after Aston Villa source's board reveal

Alan Hutton has claimed Dean Smith would have “laughed off” the suggestion his job is under threat at Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa defender admitted the 50-year-old is under more pressure than previous seasons due to a rise in expectations.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month (14th September) Smith’s role was set to come under serious scrutiny from the board if performances and results failed to improve.

The Villans sat 12th after their opening four games, with two defeats, a draw and a win under their belts.

They have since beaten Everton and Manchester United to lift themselves to eighth in the Premier League table.

Hutton admitted Smith knew he would be under pressure after a slow start to the campaign.

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However, he insisted signs of improvement are clear for all to see.

“He would have laughed it off,” Hutton told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge.

“It’s the way football is. They spent a lot of money in the summer. Obviously the situation with Jack (Grealish) over the summer.

“The first game of the season they were beat by Watford 3-2 but were down 3-0, it’s not ideal.

“The pressure always builds because the expectation is higher now. Before the league starts it’s: ‘We’re going for European positions,’ but then you don’t get off to the best of starts.

“I think we’re starting to see them get into it now. They’ve picked up a decent amount of points.

“Against Chelsea, I don’t think that was a 3-0 game. I think they were way better than that. We’re seeing them much improved.”

Villa’s next game sees them face Tottenham in north London.

In other news, Hutton delighted as two surprise Aston Villa stars transformed since Grealish exit.