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Dean Smith praises 'exceptional' Aston Villa substitute Keinan Davis

Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Aston Villa at The New York Stadium on April 10, 2019 in Rotherham, England.

Aston Villa beat Bristol City 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 13 :Keinan Davis of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Bristol City at Villa Park on April 13, 2019 in...

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has told the club's official website that he thought striker Keinan Davis was 'exceptional' against Bristol City on Saturday.

Villa went into the game without two key players, with defender Tyrone Mings suspended and playmaker Jack Grealish falling ill before the clash, meaning their seven-match winning run was under real threat.

However, Smith's side stepped up to the task, as Tammy Abraham scored from the penalty spot before Conor Hourihane added a second for Villa.

 

Famara Diedhiou pulled one back for Bristol City, setting up something of a tense finale, but Villa held out and made it eight wins in a row.

The Championship playoffs is getting closer and closer for Villa, who will be a dangerous prospect in the race for the Premier League after such an incredible run under Smith.

Saturday's game also saw striker Keinan Davis come on late in the game, and his impact has seemingly caught Smith's eye, as he called his impact 'exceptional', offering a focal point up top but also aerial presence on set pieces at the back.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 13 :Keinan Davis of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Bristol City at Villa Park on April 13, 2019 in...

That was just a third appearance under Smith for the 21-year-old centre forward, who has endured major injury problems over the last year, depriving Villa of a physical option from the bench.

Now though, Davis is back, and having impressed Smith on Saturday, we may well see more of the youngster in the playoff run-in.

Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Aston Villa at The New York Stadium on April 10, 2019 in Rotherham, England.

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