Dean Smith spoke addressed the media at Bodymoor Heath on Thursday ahead of the weekend trip to Wigan Athletic.
Here's what he had to say...
On the beginning of the season run-in...
We are looking forward to it. We have a run of games this month against teams below us, whereas the last 10 games have been against teams above us or around us.
There’s no guarantee you’re going to win those games. There’s a lot of teams around us playing each other this weekend, too.
If you can go and get a win you can catch up on a few above us. We will take it one game at a time and see where we can go with that.
But we are thoroughly looking forward to the run-in for the season.
On the teams above all in action against each other...
Our incentive is simply to get back on the winning trail.
Our last win was on Boxing Day against Swansea. We have missed a few chances to get all three points in a few games and we want to get back to winning ways.
It’s still only one defeat in the last 11 games, though – that’s a positive to take forward.
We are certainly a team that is hard to beat and certainly a team that creates lots of chances.
We have been working very hard on our organisation because I firmly believe that if we make it difficult for the opposition to score, then there’s enough goals in this team to win games.
On his approach to the run-in…
For me, it’s always about the next game.
Between myself, the owners, the sporting director and the CEO we have our own targets through the season, but with the players it’s on a game by game basis.
I don’t want to look too far ahead. You could have a target and far exceed it or a target and fall well below it. That can affect the mindset.
For me, it’s always about the next game to get those three points.
On the Wigan encounter...
It’ll be another tough game. Paul Cook’s teams have always played good football. He’s got teams promoted from League One to the Championship.
He did very well at Portsmouth and I had some really good battles with him when I was at Brentford and Walsall.
I know what his teams are about. They’ll make it very difficult for us. I have full respect for them but, for me, it’s about concentrating on ourselves and how we approach the game – our mindset and our attitude.
On struggling teams scrapping for points...
Any game you go into – whether the opposition is on winning runs or winless runs, there’s always pressure on the game and to go and get three points.
That will remain in every game that we play whether it’s against a team that’s won six on the spin or lost six on the spin.
Each game will be different but you go into it focusing on yourself and the best way to win.
On Tammy Abraham...
He's training, and training well.
He's got a smile on his face and scoring a lot of goals.
He's enjoying his football at Aston Villa – which is what I've always said.