Jota and Frederic Guilbert played well for Aston Villa on Friday.
Jota was in action for Villa in their Premier League game against Everton at Villa Park on Friday evening.
The 28-year-old attacking midfielder started the match and played for 77 minutes, as the Villans won 2-0.
The former Brentford and Birmingham City star set up Wesley Moraes for the opening goal in the 21st minute and was a constant threat for the Everton defence.
It was Jota’s first league start of the season and manager Smith was impressed.
Smith has also admitted that both Jota and Frederic Guilbert will be disappointed not to have played more for Villa so far this season.
Right-back Guilbert, 24, started against Everton in what was his debut for the Villans.
Smith told Villa’s official website about Jota: “He showed his quality tonight. He and Fred will feel it’s a bit harsh that this evening is their first start because they have done so well in pre-season. But they have to earn their starts. They have to earn the shirts.”
Smith added: “I thought Jota’s performance was excellent and what I expected of him. He’s a wonderful little talent. He has great awareness.”
Villa have a strong and big squad, and the performances of Jota and Guilbert showed the competition for places in the team.
The Villans deserved to win against the Toffees, and the Villa Park faithful will hope that the team can now go on a winning run.