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Men’s Football Villa boss gets touchline ban for ‘juggling balls’ comment

Dean Smith in stands for Newcastle tie after asking officials whether they received clown-related gift for Christmas

VILLA boss Dean Smith has accepted an FA charge and will serve a touchline ban against Newcastle tonight.

The manager 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.

Invoking clownlike imagery, Smith asked the officials if they had got juggling balls for Christmas after midfielder Rodri ran back from a significantly 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,” said Smith, who will be in the stands for the Premier League visit of the Magpies.

“I certainly didn’t abuse them and that will be the end of the matter.

“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.”

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