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Smith set to add a piece to his jigsaw.

DEAN Smith is considering whether to hire a set-piece specialist at Villa after hinting his backroom team is not yet fully complete.

The head coach created a similar role at former club Brentford, which helped to significantly boost the Bees' goal tally and also led to national recognition.

Before this summer's World Cup in Russia, England assistant Steve Holland visited the Championship innovators to see how they worked on set-plays and their unpredictable routines.

And Smith admits it is something he is considering introducing at Villa.

"They (set-pieces) are important," he said. "(Hiring a set-piece coach) is something I will discuss with Suso (sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch) and Christian Purslow (CEO) further down the road."

At Brentford, specialist set-piece coach Gianni Vio was the man to first take on the role before he moved to Leeds.

Nicolas Jover then stepped up from a performance analyst position in France.

"It is quite a rarity in football," Smith added. "Steve Holland came in to Brentford to watch how we did on set-pieces before England went to the World Cup. I'm not taking any credit at all for the set-pieces! They were just interested to see how that worked."

Meanwhile, Villa are among 15 Championship clubs reportedly considering a breakaway league as a disagreement with the EFL over TV money continues.

The Football League and Sky Sports have a five-year deal planned, which is set to be worth almost PS120 million, and will begin at the start of next season, but almost two-thirds of second-tier clubs are unhappy with a number of factors within it, according to claims in the national media.

Villa, who are name-checked along with Derby and Leeds, would receive an equal share of almost PS3m a year under the new agreement - an increase of almost PS700,000 - but the clubs argue they are entitled to more.

They are also unhappy with the idea they will be subject to appearances on the Internet and via the red button because of the detrimental effect it could have on attendances and gate receipts. Another meeting with the EFL is planned next week.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 13, 2018
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