Targett injury sours Villa’s rout at Crewe
Aston Villa have concerns over the fitness of Matt Targett after he picked up a hamstring injury in the 6-1 victory at Crewe on Tuesday night.
The defender, who only arrived from Southampton during the summer, was making his debut in the Carabao Cup clash at Gresty Road, but was forced off just before half-time with the injury.
Speaking after the game, Villa boss Dean Smith was unsure of the full extent of the damage, but is hopeful it is nothing serious as they acted quickly to get him off the pitch.
Everyone concerned with the club will now be keeping their fingers crossed for good news.
“He felt his hamstring,” Smith told reporters. “We got him off as quick as we could. It will probably keep him out for a week or two. I don’t think it’s as damaging as what it could be.”
Turning to the game itself, Smith was delighted with the clinical nature of his side as they demolished the Railwaymen.
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The clash looked a potential upset in the making and on a night when other Premier League sides, such as Norwich and Crystal Palace, crashed out to lower league opposition, there were no issues for Villa.
In making 10 changes to his side following Friday night’s 2-0 Premier League victory at home to Everton, Smith played a dangerous game, but those that came in rose to their task.
“Tonight was a big opportunity for us to give players some minutes,” said Smith. “They went out there and performed really well. It’s a team that has not played together before but they understand our system, their responsibilities within the system, and they played it well.”
Villa made the perfect start, with one of three players making a competitive debut in £12million defender Ezri Konsa heading home the opener inside four minutes.
Although Crewe had chances to equalise, two Conor Hourihane goals before half-time gave the home side no way back in the second half.
“From 2-0 I thought it would be tough for them, and we then got a third just before half-time,” added Smith, who is targeting the League Cup as a silverware opportunity this season.
“We’ve a proud history in this competition, and we wanted to go into the game making sure our attitude was right because we knew they were a bright team. We showed the importance of what this competition means to us.”
Striker Keinan Davis made it 4-0 in the 69th minute with his first goal for 20 months, while substitute Frederic Guilbert curled home a superb fifth soon after
Ryan Wintle deservedly netted a consolation for Crewe six minutes from time before Villa completed the rout moments later when Jack Grealish – on as a 67th-minute substitute – drove home a backheel from Henri Lansbury.