Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Noel Whelan loved Dean Smith’s honest assessment of some Aston Villa players after they were beaten comfortably by Southampton last weekend. 

The former Leeds United forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, applauded the manager for a frank post-match interview on Saturday.

Smith told Sky Sports in a post-match interview that “a lot of the players have played themselves out of the team for next week.”

Next Sunday, Villa travel to Wembley to face Manchester City in the League Cup final but Smith insisted the 2-0 loss at St. Mary’s was a cup final in itself.

Whelan was in favour of the former Brentford manager publically criticising his players for a result that leaves the Claret and Blues dangerously close to the drop.

“I love him saying that,” the ex-Coventry striker told Football Insider.

“Some players seem to think they are cemented in the team – absolutely not. There is an abundance of quality in that Aston Villa team and they have probably got two or three players to choose from in every single position.

“If you get given your opportunity you need to take it at big clubs and I am sure Dean Smith has seen quite a lot which will give him a good idea of who deserves to be in the starting lineup and who does not.

“These players need to have a look at themselves. They need to help the club stay in the Premier League.” 

The loss, courtesy of goals from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong, mean Dean Smith’s side sit one point ahead of Watford and West Ham in 17th.

Villa have the worst defence in the Premier League this season having conceded 52 goals, one more than bottom-of-the-table Norwich.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED defender has been told to find a new club this summer.