Villa boss Dean Smith accepts FA charge and will be in stands against Newcastle

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has accepted a Football Association charge and will serve a touchline ban against Newcastle.

The 49-year-old was sent off during Wednesday’s controversial 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

He was charged for allegedly using abusive and/or insulting language towards referee Jon Moss following City’s opening goal.

Smith asked the officials if they had got juggling balls for Christmas after midfielder Rodri ran back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and pass for Bernardo Silva to score.

“I will reluctantly accept it. I will accept the charge of insulting the officials. I certainly didn’t abuse them and that will be the end of the matter,” said Smith, who will be in the stands for Saturday’s Premier League visit of the Magpies.

“I don’t really regret it. That’s just my way of dealing with the situation, a touch of sarcasm.”

Defeat extended Villa’s winless run to three in the league, dropping them to 11th in a congested table. But they have up to three games in hand on their top-half rivals, leaving Smith confident.

“We feel like we’re in a good place. In our last three games we’ve played Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and we’ve only got one point from them,” he said.

“We feel that we deserved more. We felt it was a poor penalty decision for Paul Pogba in the Manchester United game and obviously decisions went against us in the Manchester City game.

“Manchester City was the game I felt we deserved to get beaten as they were the better team. We’ve got great belief in the way we’re playing and the team we’ve got.”

John McGinn is banned after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season at the Etihad but Trezeguet will return to the squad after recovering from coronavirus.

Wesley remains out as he continues to recover from his long-term knee injury, while Kortney Hause could return after a foot problem.

Newcastle’s visit was rearranged from December after the Magpies’ coronavirus outbreak.

Since then they have failed to win in nine games but, despite Steve Bruce’s struggles, Smith believes Newcastle will improve.

“They had a great start to the season. You could see that the players all look bright and that they’ve got goalscorers within the team,” he told a press conference.

“They’re just going through one of those periods at the minute. We went through one last season – we haven’t had a period like it this season.

“You’re just waiting for something to kickstart you, and I’m sure it will. We have to make sure that it’s not against us.”