Aston Villa suffer double injury blow

 

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish admits it will be a massive blow to be without Richard Dunne for eight weeks after the defender fractured his collarbone during yesterday's clash with Manchester City.

Centre-back Dunne was undergoing surgery today in Birmingham after landing awkwardly on his shoulder during City's 1-0 success.

Utility player Ciaran Clark will also be sidelined for a month after suffering a medial ligament strain to his left knee during training at the weekend.

McLeish said: "We're gutted to be losing the big man (Dunne). He was trying to get us back in the game when he made a tremendous leap but, unfortunately, he landed badly on his shoulder and fractured the collarbone.

"He is a stalwart defender and has been that for the past dozen years or so in the Barclays Premier League.

"It's not good for us to be without such a top player and a defender of his massive experience.

"We wish Richard a speedy recovery and Ciaran, too, from his knee injury. We will look now for someone else to step up to the mark."

The plus point for Villa was the return to full training today of midfielder Chris Herd.

He has recovered from an ankle ligament injury which has left him sidelined since December.

Villa hope Herd will be available for the game against Wigan on February 25.

Herd said: "I'm relieved to be back fit and training with the team.

"I'll be training as hard as I can over the next few weeks to try and work my back into the side.

"It's been really frustrating but I'm glad to be back and I still plenty more games to look forward to this season."

McLeish said: "Chris did his usual in training today in that he gave 100% in the session and worked like a demon. We're really pleased to have him back."

Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton has called on all within the club to unite if they are to avoid a relegation scrap at the end of the season.

Villa are currently just seven points above the drop zone after the home defeat to City.

It was a seventh loss in 14 league matches since a 3-2 victory over Norwich on November 5, remarkably their last win at home since when they have collected two points from seven games at Villa Park.

These are worrying times for Villa, to such an extent that some fans have started to protest against McLeish, as was the case before kick-off against City.

It was relatively minor, with no more than 100 or so voicing their concerns, but such numbers could swell if Villa fail to improve.

Albrighton, like many of the other Villa players, firmly believes McLeish is the right man for the job.

"I'm in favour of the gaffer. He's been doing well in training for us, he helps us out and speaks to us, which is what you want from a manager," said the 22-year-old.

"I thought the fans were terrific inside the ground, they were brilliant, they got behind us from the first minute, and that's what we need going through this bad time.

"Hopefully we can repay them over the next couple of games."

Those two matches, at teams in the thick of the relegation battle in Wigan and Blackburn, now appear crucial for Villa if they are to either haul themselves away or get sucked in.

"We're staying positive," said Albrighton.

"We've these two games now where we know we are good enough to beat those teams.

"So we're aiming for six points, nothing less, that will lift us back up the table."

As for the home form, Albrighton added: "Villa Park should be a fortress, but it's not been good lately, and the fans will be the first to tell you that.

"We knew we faced a hard game against City, so the next time we play at home we have to put it right.

"We've just got to stick together, everybody at the club has to unite and hopefully we can get out of this slump and start winning football matches."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London