Dean Smith has admitted any team will miss Jack Grealish after Aston Villa fell to Leicester in his absence 2-1.
Grealish has been a key player for Villa this season but was forced to miss the Leicester clash with injury.
Villa suffered without their captain, as they lost two goals in the first period. Bertrand Traore cut the deficit in half shortly after the break, but that wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback.
This meant that Villa’s inconsistent form continued. Even though Smith was happy with their fight in the second half, he knew where they went wrong overall.
He said Sky Sports: “It was a game in two halves. They started well, were aggressive and we played in front of them.
“We had to stretch the game and we did it in the second half.
“We didn’t go anywhere with the ball in the first half, we didn’t put any ball behind. In the second half, we played in their half, that’s what we had to do.
“They hung on at the end to get the win.
“You’re always going to miss a top class player, take Jack Grealish off any team and you will be missed, but the XI that was there was good enough to win.”
“We created chances, we got into good areas, we have players who can score goals.”
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Extent of Grealish injury assessed
Some reports have indicated that Grealish could be missing for about a month. However, speaking ahead of the game, Smith said he remains optimistic.
He said Sky: “He had some discomfort in training this week. At the end of the week, we decided he wasn’t right to play.
“We don’t think it’s a long-term injury, we’re just going to assess it as we go.
“The wound is on his leg. It is not a recurring injury.
“I’ve no idea [how long he’ll be out for]. I have high hopes, I am still optimistic.
MATCH REPORT: Dominating Leicester in second place as first half hits Villa