Dean Smith reacts following Mings, El Ghazi Aston Villa spat v West Ham

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith said all is well between Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi after their altercation in the 0-0 draw with West Ham, saying the pair “looked after it themselves”.

The pair clashed in the first half of the goalless draw at Villa Park on Monday, with Mings taking issue with his teammate after he failed to track back in defence as Manuel Pellegrini’s side broke away in a counter-attack.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the match, however, Smith said that the issue had been sorted out and the players had calmed down.

“That’s a heat of the moment thing,” the manager said. “I didn’t even talk to them at half-time, it had already been sorted. I expect players to look after themselves and take responsibility. There’s a limit, you can’t step over. There’s a really good leadership group, they looked after it themselves.”

West Ham full-back Arthur Masuaku was sent off in the second half of a lively contest, and Smith added that his side should have taken more of an advantage after having the extra man.

“I thought 11 v 11 we were really good and created the best chances. You have to take them,” he added. “I expected a little better of us when they went down to 10. We never used that extra man and got rushed on the ball rather than keeping our structure.

“Overall I thought we performed really well – our defensive organisation was good and we restricted them to few chances.We’re evolving as a team, some of them have only played a couple of Premier League games. They’re getting better and better.

“We became risk-averse near the end of the game. The running stats were through the roof, I can’t question their work-rate. [It was just a case of] using the brain a bit in the last 20 minutes – we should have made them work and drag them out of position. Instead we were trying to take men on.”

Villa‘s next game sees them travel to North London to face Arsenal on Sunday.

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