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Blaise Bourgeois

Dean Smith outlines plan to ready himself for the rest of the season


The international break can be really tough on players and managers alike, but sometimes it can give everybody a chance to breathe and regain their composure.

That’s what Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is planning to do this weekend, as he revealed that he’ll not only evaluate the club with his staff, but he’ll head out to Scotland in an effort to gain some key insights ahead of the busiest part of the season.

“I’ll do some performance reviews with the staff on how to improve and set some more targets for them,” he told the club’s official media team.

“It just gives you an opportunity to go and do that away from a match and concentrating on that.

“I’ll also go away, I’m going away for a few days to Scotland for some CPD (Continuing Professional Development) myself.

“I’ll go and mix with some other managers, listen to some people talk to expand my knowledge.

“The LMA are wonderful at putting on masterclasses for managers, one of them will be managing up and managing the modern player and how to improve them individually and collectively.

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“All that kind of stuff is really important for me to continue learning.

“From November to February is a long time, there’s a lot of games. So it’s important we get a good break in this November period and we’ll make sure we come out right against Newcastle.”

There’s all to play for after the international break, considering that, despite being in 17th place, Aston Villa are just six points behind fifth-placed Sheffield United.