Furious Aston Villa boss Dean Smith vows to take action over Jack Grealish rumours which have appeared on social media on Sunday.
The 49 year old revealed he pulled Grealish out of training on Friday after the England international suffered discomfort in his leg.
However the Villa boss was then frustrated even further after discovering rumours emerge online over the weekend on Grealish’s injury which alerted Leicester City.
To deepen Smith’s troubles, Leicester managed to take advantage of Grealish not being in the team, winning the Premier League game 2-1.
Boss Smith fumed: “I have been made aware that on social media there have been rumours he wasn’t going to play.
“If it has been coming out of our training ground then I will find out where that is coming from and reprimand it.
“It is something I wouldn’t be happy with and we will certainly get to the bottom of it.”
Dean Smith insists Villa have enough quality to win matches without Jack Grealish, who missed his first League game in 15 months and could now be out up to four weeks.
Smith added: “You are always going to miss a top class player, take Jack Grealish out of any team and you’d miss him but the XI that was out there was good enough to win.
“Jack is going to be a loss because he is an exceptional player with a great personality but we still had enough there to beat Leicester.
“I don’t put the loss down to Jack Grealish not being in the team.
“It is not going to be a long-term injury, I will be guided by the medical staff and Jack himself.
“We have other players who can score goals.”
Smith revealed he tore into his side at half time after a dismal performance which saw Leicester go into the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes before Bertrand Traore pulled a goal back after the break.
Aston Villa: Martinez (5), Elmohamady (5), Konsa (6), Mings (6), Targett (7), Luiz (6), McGinn (6), Traore (7), Barkley (5), El Ghazi (5), Watkins (7).
Subs: Trezeguet (6), Ramsey (n/a), Sanson (n/a).
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Castagne (7), Evans (8), Soyuncu (7), Thomas (8), Ndidi (7), Tielemans (7), Pereira (7), Maddison (8), Barnes (9), Vardy (7).
Subs: Mendy (6), Amartey (n/a), Choudhury (n/a).
Man of the match: Harvey Barnes.
Smith said: “I was disappointed with our first half. It took some harsh words from me at half-time to lift us.
“It was a long way back after giving two goals away in a poor first half performance.
“But second half we were much better and more aggressive.
“They were hanging on at the end to get the result.”
MANAGER TO SKY SPORTS
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: “It was a game of two halves. They started well, were aggressive and we played in front of them. We had to stretch the game and we did that in the second half.
“We never went anywhere with the ball in the first half, didn’t put any balls in behind. In the second half we played in their half which is what we had to do. They were hanging on at the end to get the win.
“You are always going to miss a top-class player, take Jack Grealish out of any team and you’d miss him but the XI that was out there was good enough to win.
“We created chances, got in good areas, we have players who can score goals.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: “I was absolutely delighted. I thought some of our football and the speed of our game was really really good. We didn’t have too many concerns defensively.
“We gave away a cheap goal, and when you do that in the second half it gives the opponents a bit of momentum for the next 15-20 minutes. Once we weathered that I thought we still had chances in the second half.
“After midweek travel and a European game, the players really have to show their spirit and quality. I was so pleased and very proud of the team. Our energy was good, and the quality of our football was excellent. Some of our attacking play was very good.”
On Leicester’s top-four hopes: “We were able to go in and reflect on last season and go through it in pre-season. There’s a greater calmness. We’re playing some great football, but at times you have to dig in and have spirit, and we were able to do that.”
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp on Harvey Barnes: “I have been so impressed with Harvey Barnes all season. He has so much power and pace. He must be a nightmare to play against. He’s a player who is so high on confidence with a manager who really believes in him.
“You could see before half-time that Brendan was telling him, ‘every time you get the ball, I want you to run with it’. It helped that he was up against a right-back in Ahmed Elmohamady that hasn’t played a lot of football but he’s been doing it all season.
“He’s got tremendous quality and I’m really enjoying him at the moment. He might not get into the Euros as he’s got a long list ahead of him in Rashford, Grealish, Sancho, Sterling, Saka to name but a few.”
Sky Sports’ Andy Hinchcliffe: “Harvey Barnes has really showcased his talents in this game. His strength, his speed and he scored as well. He’s adding more goals to his game and that’s absolutely vital for his development. Surely Gareth Southgate, watching on, has to have been impressed with his performance.”
Fans reacted as furious Aston Villa boss Dean Smith vows to take action over Jack Grealish rumours…
— FPL Banger – Fantasy Premier League Podcast (@FPL_Banger) February 21, 2021
@adwhite85: Based on the saga of Barkley’s come back from injury, I think I will take these comments with a pinch of salt! Hope he is back ASAP! #avfc