Smith issues positive Grealish injury update for Villa

Aston Villa

Dean Smith has confirmed that key man Jack Grealish did not suffer a serious injury during Sunday's Carabao Cup final defeat against Manchester City.

The Villa boss spoke out after his side were narrowly defeated 2-1 against the Citizens at Wembley on Sunday afternoon to leave them focusing on a fight to avoid relegation in the remaining 11 fixtures of the Premier League season.

Some fans felt Grealish appeared to be playing through an injury because of his subdued display against City, before he then went to ground late on in the match.

However, when quizzed about the 24-year-old midfielder’s condition after the game, Smith was adamant the player was just suffering from cramp in his calf and he will be fit and available for next Monday’s Premier League showdown against Leicester City.

Villa looked like being on the end of another hiding against City when the reigning cup holders raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodri.

But Mwbana Samatta pulled a goal back for Villa, who put in a gutsy display just six weeks after City thumped them 6-1 in the Premier League.

And they came close to taking the game to extra time when Claudio Bravo tipped Bjorn Engels’ header onto the post late on.

Despite the disappointment of being defeated, Smith wants the players to transform that display into their remaining 11 matches after wins for West Ham, Watford and Norwich over the weekend has left them in the relegation zone and two points adrift of safety.

He said: “We were written off after last week (2-0 loss) at Southampton. We expected a reaction today and we got that. We were taking on one of the best teams in the world.

“We came here to win a trophy and we haven’t managed to do that. Our concentration now goes onto the Premier League.”