Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith was holding his pre-game press conference ahead of the Bolton Wanderers match on Friday evening and he gave fans an injury update.
Winger Albert Adomah may not have hit the heights of last season so far in 2018/19 but he’s been a semi-regular fixture in recent times. He did miss out in our defeat against Queens Park Rangers but he is now back in training and in contention for the game.
Having limped off against QPR, Birkir Bjarnason’s groin issue hasn’t cleared up in time so we’ll see midfield changes for the game at least but the presumption is, it remains a short-term issue.
Smith did have praise for on-loan Everton winger Yannick Bolasie though following his own QPR showing, as little secret had been made about his apparent lack of fitness since Smith walked through the door.
He’s quoted by the Official Site as saying about the 29-year-old.
“Yannick is getting closer. He played in an internal game in the week. He’s come from Everton having had a long-term injury. He’s working his way back to fitness. I spoke to him after the Swansea game. He wasn’t up to the levels what is required. At QPR, he was back to what I remember of him – he put some great balls into the box. He’s pushing himself to get into contention, which is what we want.”
Okay, fair play for not sulking after receiving criticism and putting the effort in now, but he recovered from his long-term injury months ago.
The consensus from plenty of Everton fans was that Sam Allardyce rushed him back in 2017/18 when he clearly wasn’t up to fitness, but from Boxing Day last year he made 17 appearances for Everton. He’s had a pre-season and he’s already featured in eight games for us.
Confidence as an issue is certainly open for debate and one I can buy into given his lay off. But fitness, match fitness and sharpness, I’m not buying that one after almost eleven months.