Smith on form, Mings & Southampton

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Alex Howell, BBC Sport

Dean Smith has been speaking to the media before Aston Villa's game against Southampton on Friday night.

It's been a tough period for Villa who have lost their last four Premier League games in a row.

Here are the key points:

  • On refereeing decisions and Ezri Konsa: "I'm concerned about the consistency of it. We had VAR built into football to make it a cleaner system but not to re-referee football games. In the last two games we’ve had decisions re-refereed. Neither of ours have been clear and obvious";

  • Looking at the team's form, Smith said: "We’re in a high-performing elite sport. And within those games there have been marginal moments which transpired. We’ve made some small mistakes in games that have cost us, we were missing five players for West Ham game. We’re not far from turning it around and we’re in determined mood";

  • Smith made the call to drop club captain Tyrone Mings for West Ham, admitting it was "a big call" but added that he "felt it was the right decision at the time to go and win a football match. He was disappointed of course, he took it as the person he is and he will be looking to get his form on track. There’s been a reaction from all the players";

  • Morgan Sanson is back training. Danny Ings and Bertrand Traore are out. Ezri Konza has had his appeal upheld. Jacob Ramsey is fit and trained - the ankle sprain isn’t as bad as thought.

  • Speaking about Southampton, Smith said: "(They have) consistency in the way they play and the way they approach games. You look at them this season and they are a team that's well organised and difficult to beat".

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