Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has told BBC West Midlands Sport that the club are making good progress ahead of the January transfer window.

In an interview following Villa’s 1-0 Boxing Day victory over Swansea City, the Villans boss revealed that he is looking to improve their defence in an attempt to boost their hopes of promotion.

“We were always going to strengthen defensively and we’re still looking to do that,” the Aston Villa boss commented.

“We have a few irons in the fire at the moment and we’ll keep those plates spinning to see who we can get in.”

The clean sheet in that victory over Swansea was the first Villa have managed since a 3-0 win against Middlesbrough.

In the three games between those two clean sheets, Villa conceded seven goals and have leaked 37 goals in total so far this campaign.

Smith’s side currently sit just three points outside the Championship top six in ninth following their latest victory, and Villa are looking to go one better than last year’s play-off final defeat.

Only five Championship sides have conceded more times than Villa this season, and supporters will be buoyed by the news that defensive reinforcements are due to arrive at Villa Park in the new year.

Axel Tuanzebe’s metatarsal injury has reduced Smith’s options at centre-half, with talk Tommy Elphick could be recalled from a loan spell at Championship rivals Hull City.

Preston North End are one of those teams who have leaked more goals than Smith’s outfit, and the two sides go head-to-head on Saturday in their final game of 2018.

Villa will be hoping to end the year on a high and keep the pressure on the sides above them, before going into the market and strengthening their defence for the second-half of the campaign.

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