Orjan Nyland: Aston Villa keeper will get confidence from a clean sheet, says Dean Smith

Friday's 2-0 win over Bolton was Aston Villa goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler's first game working with Orjan Nyland
Friday's 2-0 win over Bolton was Aston Villa goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler's first game working with Norwegian Orjan Nyland

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says keeper Orjan Nyland's confidence will benefit from successive home clean sheets.

The 28-year-old Norwegian has gone through a somewhat nervy start to his Villa career since being signed on 7 August from German side FC Ingolstadt 04 for an undisclosed fee.

He was dropped by Steve Bruce for what proved to be his final game in charge - but Smith brought him straight back in.

"Keeping clean sheets gives any keeper confidence," Smith told BBC Sport.

"I've been here for four games and he's conceded three goals where he didn't stand a chance. The only questionable one was the first goal at Norwich."

Having also lost at QPR, Nyland now has a record of two home wins and two away defeats under new head coach Smith going into Saturday's trip to Frank Lampard's Derby County.

Cutler improves keepers - Smith

After being recalled in place of Mark Bunn to keep out Swansea City for a 1-0 win in Smith's first game in charge, Nyland was then part of the side that beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 on 2 November.

"He spilt one in the first half, then recovered it, and there was one where he wasn't sure whether it was going wide and he gave the corner away," said Smith. "But he kept another clean sheet which will give him an awful lot of confidence."

Smith is also hoping that his addition of former Villa keeper Neil Cutler from West Bromwich Albion as goalkeeping coach will further improve Nyland's performance level.

"I took him to Walsall when I was there," said Smith. "He improves goalkeepers. He did it for me at Walsall and he did it at West Brom.

"I gave (chief executive) Christian Purslow a list of four goalkeepers. They did their due diligence and approached West Brom. And now we've got a really good goalkeeping coach.

"Richard O'Donnell, Neil Etheridge and Sam Johnstone, who's now at West Brom. He improved them all. He's certainly very good at his job."

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