Martin Laursen has explained he only found out he was set to make his Premiership return an hour before the kick off against West Ham on Sunday.
The Danish international who has fought back from a career threatening knee injury told the official site:
'The gaffer told me I was starting about one hour before the game. But that was no problem for me. I always prepare for that chance. Because Aaron Hughes was out, I knew there was a better possibility for me to start. So I was just pleased when he told me that I was going to play. It was the end of a long year for me. I felt ready and I was pleased to get the chance to start a game again.'
Laursen, who showed no ill effects and certainly wasn't afraid to get stuck in with his tackling added:
'I'm pleased with my performance. To play against West Ham on September 10 was something I didn't expect. I couldn't be more pleased. I didn't expect to be here this early, so I'm just happy at how things are going for me. My form was good and I didn't feel I had any problems with the knee. My overall physical shape was good, so I'm happy. I came back for a good game, because West Ham have a lot of dangerous players. You're always up against good strikers in the Premiership and to be up against Tevez was challenging.'
'My knee feels good now. I can train regularly with the rest of the squad and I only have a few different things I have to do. But the most important thing is that I'm fit and can play for 90 minutes. If I have to do some different things in training during the week, OK. The gaffer is very understanding about my situation, so that's great.'
Hats off the to the fella, many would have given up after the awful run of injuries he has had in recent seasons for us and AC Milan.
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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