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John McGinn finding his Aston Villa feet after a long time out

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

John McGinn admits he is still getting up to speed after returning to the fray of Villa’s survival fight.

Aston Villa's John McGinn (centre)

The midfielder has started all three of the club’s matches since the Premier League’s restart, having spent nearly six months out through injury.

McGinn was on the verge of returning from a fractured ankle when the league was suspended in March and the relatively short preparation time before its resumption gave him little time to develop match sharpness.

The 25-year-old enjoyed his brightest performance in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle, but admitted: “It has been difficult for me. The manager is in constant contact.

“It was a long time out and I had never really suffered a serious injury before. It has been tough to adapt.

“I am finding my feet. Normally when you come back from an injury there are reserve games and you get the chance to be eased in.

“Because of the situation we are in as a club and because of the coronavirus I could not get those games.

“My fitness is getting there. The sharpness isn’t quite there yet.”

McGinn played 77 minutes at St James’ Park, with boss Dean Smith acknowledging he will need to manage the workload of the club’s reigning player of the season.

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Villa claimed a point courtesy of Ahmed Elmohamady’s 83rd-minute equaliser, but McGinn admitted the overwhelming feeling among players was of a missed opportunity.

“The feeling on Wednesday was one of frustration really,” he said. “We dominated possession but conceded a silly goal.

“At the other end we can’t wait for the other team to score before we start showing a bit of belief.

“Obviously we are pleased to take at least one point after being in a losing position.

“We are going to need that kind of desire to go and get goals at this level. Hopefully starting on Saturday we can go and get a bit of winning momentum going. There are only seven games left now and it is so important we take chances.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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