Aston Villa boss Smith: Marvelous now earning his stripes

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was full of praise for Marvelous Nakamba after victory at Leeds.

Smith says the midfielder is well worth his place at the moment.

He explained, "Yeah, it was a good. Positionally I thought he got in good areas. He broke things up when he needed to. He could have been a bit tidier on the ball at times but it was a tough surface out there to play on. A lot of players slipped but, defensively, he was really good with and without the ball.

"That's what you need from him when you come in. He's certainly not let us down. It's four or five games now and we've not conceded a goal with him in our team. At the moment he's certainly earning his stripes.

"He's never let us down when he's come in. We've been having a decent season and it's been hard for him to get minutes but he's one who's certainly trained very well and, when players aren't performing, I knew I could put him in. He's never let us down when he's come in and today was another example of that."