By Kevin Phillips

24th Feb, 2020 | 11:15am

'One of the best the PL has ever seen' - Exclusive: Phillips tips one man to stop Villa rot

Kevin Phillips claims Aston Villa should look to John Terry to solve their defensive crisis in the wake of a 2-0 defeat to Southampton this weekend. 

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested hard work on the training ground and self-belief were key to rectifying a leaky defence.

Dean Smith‘s side have not kept a clean sheet since they beat Norwich 1-0 at Villa Park back in December and have only kept four clean sheets this season.

A lacklustre performance against at St. Mary’s on Saturday left the Claret and Blues only one point above the relegation zone with 11 games remaining.

When asked how the 17th placed side should address this issue between now and the end of the season, Phillips told Football Insider: “It is simple. They have got one of the best defenders the Premier League has ever seen in their ranks.

“It is a case of getting back on the training ground and showing them videos of when they kept clean sheets – what they were doing well.

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“They need to get the mentality right as well, not feeling sorry for themselves and get on that training ground and do defensive unit work. That is the only way you can do it really.

“When they go out on a weekend they need to believe: stay solid, work together.

“They have shown that they can do it this season but with 11 games to go…

“You always give yourself a chance when you get a clean sheet, especially with players like Grealish in your side that can come up with goals. It is back to the drawing board – hard work.”

Villa have conceded 52 goals in the Premier League this season – more than any other side.

However, this weekend attention will be turned away from the relegation battle as the West-Midlands club face Manchester City in the League Cup final.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton told Football Insider 25-year-old’s return to the side will be a ‘huge boost’.