Dean Smith has labelled rumours regarding a tunnel bust-up with John Terry as 'bull****'.
Social media reports suggested a BBC West Midlands journalist had revealed on the radio that the two Aston Villa staff had to be separated in the St. Mary's tunnel following the 2-0 defeat to Southampton.
But when quizzed on the matter during his post-match press conference, Smith bluntly rebuffed the claims with the expletive.
The Villa boss wasn't happy with his side's display on the South Coast, as the relegation-threatened side slipped to their third successive league loss.
"I wanted to see more fight from the players – show me you care," he told Sky Sports at full-time.
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"It is the responsibility of any professional footballer but we never did that. Opportunities were few and far between.
"I am not bothered about the cup final next week, this was our cup final today and we were terrible.
"Certainly some players have played themselves out of next week."
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And Smith was equally as enraged when he spoke to the BBC moments later.
"We never laid a glove on them in the first 20 minutes. I try to defend the players but today was not good enough," he continued.
"They were miles off it in the first half. A bit better in the second half. It was a game that could have been won but we didn't create enough and didn't defend enough. They were deserved winners.
"Jack Grealish got in behind them right from kick off and then they went long.
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"They were getting shots and we were getting blocks. We can't keep talking about getting good starts. Not starting well is a concern.
"We can't play that bad again. It gave me a lot of heart seeing them against Tottenham but today was dreadful.
"The fight disappointed me in the first half. There was a bit more fight in the second half. I will take responsibility for the performance because I am the one who picks them."
Villa remain one-point above the relegation zone at present.
- Aston Villa FC
- Southampton FC
- Premier League
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