Dean Smith insists Aston Villa will not try to defend narrow advantage in play-off second leg 

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is targeting victory against West Brom at The Hawthorns as he looks to guide his team to the Championship play-off final.

Villa hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg but Smith is adamant they will not merely attempt to preserve their advantage on Tuesday night.

Smith’s side were on the front foot for large periods of the match at home and he wants them to adopt the same approach.

‘I won’t be sat behind the ball as much as Albion were. My aim is to go and win the game. We’ll be looking to score more goals,’ he told the club’s official website.

‘I said before that the tie couldn’t be won in the first leg. We’ve given ourselves an advantage, but that’s all it is. We’ve got to go and perform at The Hawthorns now.

‘It’ll be a different game. I can’t see them playing how they did (at Villa Park).

‘We’ve got to go there full of confidence. There’s a lot of belief in this team, that’s for sure.’

Smith expects to have a full squad available. Villa’s defensive unit looks virtually set in stone, but the manager faces some selection dilemmas in midfield and attack.

Conor Hourihane came off the bench to inspire the comeback on Saturday replacing Glenn Whelan, whose mistake led to West Brom taking the lead. 

His impact, together with the prospect of a second game in four days for 35-year-old Whelan, could see Hourihane get the nod at The Hawthorns.

Smith must also consider who lines up alongside Anwar El Ghazi and Tammy Abraham up front. Albert Adomah could keep his place but Andre Green is an alternative.

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