Ciaran Clark should be fit for Aston Villa despite head injury


Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish expects Ciaran Clark to be fit for Saturday's crucial Barclays Premier League encounter with Sunderland.

Clark's return after an eight-match absence with a knee injury was cut short at Manchester United yesterday.

Although the 22-year-old elected to continue after sustaining a nasty head wound in a collision with Patrice Evra, it soon became obvious Clark was too groggy to go on.

However, McLeish does not believe the Republic of Ireland international suffered any concussion during his side-s 4-0 defeat and expects to have Clark available to face the Black Cats at Villa Park.


"Ciaran took a head knock but I don't believe there was concussion," said McLeish.

"He has had stitches but he should be okay.

"Hopefully he is able to train this week and we will try to sharpen him up."

Out of form and ravaged by injury, few expected Villa to return from Old Trafford with any points to assist in their quest for Premier League survival.

Defeats over the weekend for Blackburn and QPR mean the midlands club still have a healthy six-point buffer between themselves and the drop zone.

However, a home encounter with third-bottom Bolton and a trip to West Brom follow immediately after the Sunderland game and McLeish is demanding a winning run to end any lingering fears about a financially crippling collapse into the npower Championship.

"We have three cup finals coming up so the players have to stop feeling sorry for themselves and start recovering immediately," said McLeish, who received more backing from his old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

"The plan is to secure our Premier League status and move forward from that.

"We have to improve. The last two seasons have not been good enough for Aston Villa's name in this game."

Villa have received some inspiration in their survival fight from skipper Stiliyan Petrov, who visited the club's training ground last week after starting treatment for leukaemia.

"Stan is good," McLeish said. "He was at training and looks great.

"He has had a new haircut - it suits him. It looks fantastic.

"He was having a laugh with the players. We think the world of Stan and I am sure he will be there to rally the players in the coming games."


Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas