Aston Villa coach Dean Smith says they want to silence the critics by surviving the relegation in their final games.

Villa are placed in the 18th place with 31 points, three away from the safety zone with two matches to play. They host Arsenal in their next game on Tuesday before rounding up the campaign with a trip to West Ham on Saturday.

Smith told reporters ahead of the Tuesday’s clash: “I think there’s been pressure on us ever since we came back for Project Restart. I think everybody has had us relegated since March.

“Our job is to go and prove people wrong. These players have played under pressure, and they seem to thrive on it. I feel that our performance levels have been good since the restart, but we haven’t got the points we deserve.

“I feel that players are coming to the fore now at the top end of the pitch and starting to perform a lot better than they were. I’ve given them a few quotes from pundits. The lads can go and use that as a positive.”

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