Sunday 19 January 2020

Struggling Villa hit hard by McGinn's ankle injury

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn suffered an ankle fracture. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn suffered an ankle fracture. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn suffered an ankle fracture during Saturday's Premier League defeat to Southampton, the club have announced.

McGinn was forced off just eight minutes in after appearing to get his studs caught in the turf.

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Villa boss Dean Smith confirmed after the match that the Scotland midfielder had been sent for an X-ray, with the club confirming the extent of the damage yesterday.

McGinn has been a key figure for Villa on their return to the Premier League this season, scoring three, and his absence will add to Smith's concerns after a poor run of form.

They have won just once in their last nine top-flight outings, losing the last four, and the 3-1 defeat to Southampton saw them slip into the relegation zone.

Villa are yet to confirm how long they expect the 25-year-old to be sidelined for, but he could be out for three months.

Villa face Norwich and Watford, the other two sides in the bottom three, in their next two matches, while they face the likes of Brighton and Watford again in January.

McGinn tweeted: "Thanks everyone for all the messages and support. Gutted but will be back before you know it."

Depending on how his recovery progresses, McGinn could also face a race to be fit for Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying play-off in March.

His absence is a huge blow as he was his country's top scorer in their qualifying group with seven goals, including six in his last three games.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke said: "I feel for John because he's in such a rich vein of form for club and country and all of us at the national team wish him a speedy recovery.

"The most important thing is that he follows the club's rehabilitation programme and we will see how he is come the end of March."

In-form Danny Ings scored two of Southampton's goals on Saturday as they moved out of the drop zone.

Netted

Jack Stephens also netted and, while Jack Grealish's fine strike pulled a goal back, Southampton deservedly claimed the points.

Ings, who has now scored 12 goals in his last 13 games, said: "It's massive. We knew how important it was to come here, put in a big performance and get the points.

"I thought we did that. The lads defended unbelievably well - you could see when their team were building momentum, we shut that out quite well.

"Credit to everybody off the ball, because that was just as important as scoring the goals.

"Our defence, the midfield and Longy (Shane Long) working his socks off again… it means so much."

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