Aston Villa rule out Stephen Ireland for two weeks

Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland was today ruled for the next fortnight after the extent of the injury he sustained to his arm became clearer.

Stephen Ireland, Aston Villa

The 26-year-old Irishman has a broken wrist and will definitely miss Villa’s derby match with West Bromwich Albion on Sunday after it was put in a cast.

Villa boss Paul Lambert would not put an exact timescale on when Ireland, who suffered the injury against Southampton last weekend, would return but conceded it is a blow to his preparations for the game against the Baggies.

“It’s his wrist. I don’t think it’s as bad as we thought. Hopefully he will be back in a few weeks time,” said Lambert.

“Injuries happen. It’s unfortunate for Stephen and it’s unfortunate for us. But he won’t be out for the number of weeks we thought he would be.”

Meanwhile, Fabian Delph revealed Villa’s squad are in high spirits ahead of the visit of Albion following their morale-boosting Capital One Cup win over Manchester City.

Although the 22-year-old midfielder insisted that the claret and blues will take nothing for granted against the Baggies despite victory over the Premier League champions on their own patch.

“Our confidence is very high at the moment. We are jumping through hoops but we are realistic and we know that because of that performance it doesn’t mean we are just going to turn up on Sunday and smash them,” said Delph.

“We have got to work as we did on Tuesday and hopefully we will get the three points. There is nothing but positivity from the management and you could see that on the pitch how we stuck together as a team.

“We are a young group of players, we have all got fire in our bellies and we are hungry to do well for the club, for the chairman, for the fans and for the gaffer. Especially after the defeat to Southampton it was important to bounce back.”

Delph was also pleased to play all 120 minutes of the cup triumph given the problems he has suffered with injuries in recent seasons.

He added: “I can’t remember last time I played 90 minutes myself, so it was a massive step for me.

“I’ve been injured on and off for the last three years so to play 90 minutes and extra-time was massive. I started to tire as everybody else did, but we saw the game through, that was the main thing.”