The new Aston Villa signing struggled this afternoon.

Dean Smith has refused to defend Aston Villa new boy Tom Heaton after this afternoon’s defeat by Burnley.

Smith’s side slumped to a second successive Premier League defeat after losing 2-1 to the Cherries at Villa Park.

Aston Villa gave themselves an uphill task from the second minute when new signing Heaton rushed off his line and brought down Callum Wilson, with Joshua King scoring from the spot.

Harry Wilson’s stunner 10 minutes later made it very difficult for the Villans, but their manager has pointed the finger at his goalkeeper for giving the team a horrible start.

He told Aston Villa’s website: “It was the first minute of the game and we gave a needless penalty away.

“The lad is going nowhere and Tom comes out and does something he would never do normally. That puts you on the back foot straight away.”

It’s cruel being a goalkeeper. Heaton, who cost £8 million [The Daily Mail], was excellent in the 3-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last week and now all of a sudden he’s on the other side of things.

Still, he’s a very able keeper and over the course of a full Premier League season, he’ll prove as much.

It’s a tad surprising to see Smith throw him under the bus like this, but if it helps him grow as a player then maybe, just maybe, there’s method in the madness.

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