When Aston Villa take on West Ham United on Wednesday night there will be plenty of mutual admiration in the dugouts.
West Ham boss David Moyes has been waxing lyrical about the job being done by Dean Smith at Villa.
Moyes praised Smith for turning Villa around after they needed a point against the Hammers to survive in the final game of last season (whufc.com).
Mutual appreciation society as West Ham face Villa
The Scot highlighted Smith’s recruitment as key to their success.
Well now Smith has returned the compliment.
Speaking ahead of the game Smith lauded the job Moyes has done leading West Ham into the European mix after equalling their best start to a season for 35 years.
And the Villa boss name checked almost the entire West Ham team when asked about Wednesday night’s opponents.
“They’ve had a fantastic season and I’ve got a lot of respect for David Moyes and what he’s doing,” Smith told the press (AVFC.com).
“I think both teams want to play progressive football, both teams want to score goals and win football games.
Smith hails ‘fantastic’ Moyes and name checks almost entire Hammers team
“I’ve always said there’s a big difference between trying to win and trying not to lose and I think both teams will try to win, which should make for an entertaining game.
“We’ve seen all season what a threat they are from set pieces. We’ll certainly have to be at our best against them set-piece wise.
“I think there’s a few of their players we have to keep an eye on, but he’s (Tomas Soucek) certainly one. I think he’s their top scorer this season with seven goals from midfield, I think he’s one who covers the most distance as well.
“But (Craig) Dawson has been scoring goals in the last few games from set pieces as well. There’s a number of players in that team who are good players and can score. I have to look out for (Said) Benrahma who I had at Brentford, who is a very good player and finding his feet in the Premier League.
‘Intricate footballers built on a solid base’
“They’ve done very well (West Ham). They’ve got a structure and a system. Soucek and (Declan) Rice in midfield provide a real solid base for them, (Michail) Antonio up front has been a real handful for everybody.
“(Jarrod) Bowen, Benrahma, (Pablo) Fornals, you know they’ve got really intricate footballers and that’s all built around a sound, solid defensive base. So they’ve done exceptionally well.
“But it doesn’t surprise me because we all know that David is a very good coach.”
West Ham have had a lack of recognition from certain sections of the football media this season.
It seems Smith has just made up for it in one press conference.