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Aston Villa boss Smith tightlipped on Barkley future; plays down strop

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith remains tightlipped on the future of Ross Barkley.

For tomorrow's clash at Brighton, Smith has said that his squad will be similar to the one that beat Arsenal last week.

But he did give an update on Ross Barkley, who did not look too happy about being subbed in that game.

"It was frustration as he wanted to last the 90 minutes," said Smith. "I spoke to him after. I don't want players coming off the pitch happy. He'll pay for the new water-bottle bag.

“He's had a full week of training, which will certainly do him good. He played six games in 18 days [following his injury], which is a credit to his professionalism and his attitude."

Asked on if he'll make Barkley's loan from Chelsea into a permanent signing, Smith said: "We haven't spoken about it."

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