Villa were promoted via the Championship play-offs in May 2019, three years after being relegated. "It's a magnificent achievement", said Smith.
"The standards they have set since lockdown have been really good". Eddie is a fantastic manager, coach and person.
Smith has remained calm throughout Villa's struggles this season after leading them to promotion via the play-offs previous year. "We will now have a few drinks and celebrate".
Just two weeks prior to Sunday's match, Villa looked destined for the drop with seven points separating them from safety following a spell which saw them pick up just two points from 30 on offer in the league.
"We'd been written off 10 games ago, we were relegated in everybody's minds".
"It is heartbreaking for the people who work behind the scenes and we feel sorry for them". We used the pandemic well. "Previous year we had 10 players out of contract and had to rebuild the squad".
"It takes a long time to build a culture but we are growing into that".
Only Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus paid out more than the club that summer. "Results went our way in the week and we're above the dotted line at the moment", said Smith. There were 12 players coming into the building. "Jack's a wonderful lad and I've got all the time in the world for him and I'm so pleased that he scored the goal that kept us in the Premier League".
Grealish's future will top of the agenda when Smith sits down with Villa's hierarchy today to begin planning in earnest for next season.
'He goes out and gets drunk with me, that's what happens now.
"We need to be a threat to their goal, definitely, but I don't think we can be all-out attack, gung-ho", he said. He's a Villa fan.
"They are immensely proud".