Villa Sustain Two Key Injuries
Looks like the injuries are starting to kick in already with Villa striker John Carew out for between 4-6 weeks and Wilfred Bouma set to miss the Carling Cup game against Leicester City tomorrow night.
This is where the already threadbare squad will be tested to its limit, which is quite maddening when you think the money was there for re-enforcements during the summer.
Big John limped off in the game against Everton at the weekend and scans have revealed knee ligament damage. The official site estimates he will miss at least three of our upcoming games (Leicester, Spurs and West Ham).
Martin O'Neill told avfc.com: 'It's a blow because he's a key player for us. But this is going to happen during the course of a season and you have to cope with it. It's now all about players coming in, doing well and staking their claim. Even when Carew wasn't scoring goals I still think he was a handful for the opposition. Opposing managers and backroom staff would all say he caused big problems. His confidence was up from getting the goal - that was a big relief to him. But we have had to do without him before and at crucial times last season. The game at Blackburn Rovers I remember in particular. We will probably end up playing differently again, but we are capable of doing that.'
Carew said yesterday 'This is a bad and stupid time to be injured for Villa and my national team. It's hurting and I'm worried it will take a long time to heal.'
Meanwhile left-back Wilf is struggling with an ankle injury and will miss tomorrows game with Republic of Ireland international Stephen O'Halloran on stand by to fill in.
O'Neill confirmed: 'Freddie Bouma is injured. He injured his ankle in the first couple of minutes on Sunday. He was able to play on but it was very sore, so we didn't want to take any risks. I'm hoping he'll be fit for Monday, but he won't be in contention for tomorrow, so we have to make a few enforced changes.'