Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has been previewing Sunday’s clash against Birmingham City and the injury sustained by centre-half Tommy Elphick poses a particular problem as we look to build some good momentum now following the sterling Championship victory over Derby County in our last game.
With Elphick striking up a reasonable partnership with Tyrone Mings, it means Smith will be forced into at least one change, and speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media to discuss the Birmingham game, the gaffer admitted there was a few ways he could pivot.
“Tommy Elphick getting injured was a blow. He’s done really well for us. We’ve had a bad run of injuries since we played Birmingham last time. I’ve got a decision to make now. I can throw Mile Jedinak in as a right-sided centre-back. Or I can move Kortney Hause into his more customary centre-half position and bring Neil Taylor back. It’s nice to have decisions to make.”
Fans will have their own thoughts about Mile Jedinak again filling in at the back, but it’s not unfair to say he did become a big of a scapegoat previously. With the pace of Mings that would cover the main flaw and provide cover if he sides with that option. But equally, with Kortney Hause showing improvement as he continues to settle in at the club, centre back is his natural position.
Unlike earlier in the season, at least we have more than one option available now.
That’s before we get to the debate of whether Lovre Kalinic retakes the No 1 spot from Jed Steer, or how Smith may pivot in midfield given John McGinn can now come back into his thoughts following his suspension.