The key quotes from Dean Smith's pre West Ham United press conference
Villa manager Dean Smith / David Rogers Getty Images

David Moyes' high flying hammers will travel to Villa Park on Sunday for the late kick off against a Villa side that have lost in their last three matches. 

Dean Smith is still yet to have had a fully fit side to select from this season, but he spoke to the media this morning and discussed the latest team news in preparation for Sunday's clash.

Is Emiliano Martinez available?

Goalkeeper Emi Martinez was a doubt for the game on the weekend, as the Argentine flew back to his home country in order to see his father, who is in hospital.

The Copa America winner took to Instagram, where he posted a photo of himself alongside his brother, Ale, and his father, Alberto and captioned it 'Our Guide'. 

Embed from Getty Images

Smith confirmed this morning that:

"Emi Martinez will be back training with us today. He’s had some personal issues that he had to fly back home for, but he’s back today so I have no worries about his availability."

Smith went on to tell reporters that: 

Other than that, Morgan Sanson and Jaden Philogene-Bidace are both off ill and Trezeguet is still coming back from injury.

Will Leon Bailey start for the first time?

Jamaican winger Leon Bailey has yet to start for Smith's side, due to an unfortunate run with injuries.

The 24 year old played 45 minutes in last weeks 3-1 loss to Arsenal, but showed bright sparks and even claimed an assist for Jacob Ramsey's first ever professional goal.

Regarding Bailey, Smith said: 

We’re having to manage him carefully. He came here with no pre-season and an injury from playing international football.

He got injured in the Everton game and we had to wrap him up in cotton wool, so to speak. He got a good 45 minutes against Arsenal and he needed that."

Smith then continued: 

"He was blowing, but he’s had a good week’s training. We’ll assess tomorrow whether he’s ready to start or not.

Despite his unlucky run with injuries, Bailey has contributed to three goals for the Villains this season.

He has achieved one goal so far, a left footed rocket in a 3-0 win at Home to Everton, and has registered two assists - in just 131 minutes of Premier League football.

Smith's thoughts on three consecutive losses

Smith is well aware that the performances haven't been good enough since beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 25th.

Smith Said:

Three games ago we were coming off the back of winning at Old Trafford for the first time in 12 years. We’ve had two tight matches against Tottenham and Wolves and we probably threw the Wolves game away in the last ten minutes."

Smith is desperate for a response against West Ham, as he knows that the pressure will begin to pile high if Villa record four losses on the bounce:

“Out of the last three games, we’ve had two narrow defeats and one where we didn’t turn up in the first half. We got a response in the second half and we need a response now against West Ham.”


There was some exciting news for the Villa faithful, with Leon Bailey in contention to make his first start. Sanson and JPB are missing, but Emi Martinez will train today and be available for selection come thursday.

Smith's side need a win on Sunday to steady the ship, and the staff know just how capable we are of getting a result.