Manager Paul Lambert has explained that new summer signing Joe Cole was missing from the team against FC Dallas earlier today because he picked up a minor thigh injury in the game against Mansfield.
Speaking to the Official Site the gaffer described it as a minor knock and nothing too serious or worth worrying about, and whilst he admits he'll be 'touch and go' for the Saturday game against Houston Dynamo, and wouldn't be drawn on a prediction for our remaining games against Chesterfield, Groningen, Walsall and Parma, he was insistent that it certainly wouldn't keep him out of the opening day clash of the season against Stoke on August 16.
'Joe has a little knock on his thigh. It's a minor knock. He will be touch and go for Saturday, I won't rush him. But I'm not too concerned, I think Joe will be fine for the first day.'
With this being the part of the press conference he talked about injuries, and with Charles N'Zogbia building on his 45 minutes against Mansfield, by getting another run out against Dallas and scoring, his name obviously came up.
'It's great to see Charles come back after a lengthy spell out, it was a bad injury. He's come back in pre season looking pretty sharp. I thought he was excellent against Dallas. I thought his goal was first class, it was a well taken goal. He could've had another goal at the end too. His overall contribution since he's been back has been very good, to come back the way he has is very pleasing and if he can stay injury free, hopefully he will have a big season.'
He needs to, after the warbling he made when he signed about a three year plan (does nobody realise Villa don't do x years plans well) and the performances he's put in so far, the fans deserve a bloody good consistent season from him, and being less selfish, he needs one as well to remind people what he's capable of.
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