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John McGinn: Sacrifices paid off for Aston Villa

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

John McGinn believes Villa’s Premier League survival was testament to the “sacrifices” they made during the coronavirus shutdown.

Aston Villa's John McGinn

Villa took 10 points from 10 matches after the season restarted to climb out of the relegation zone and preserve their top flight status for another year.

The club instructed players not to leave the UK when the campaign was suspended in March, while head coach Dean Smith lost his father, Ron, during the break.

Villa treated the run-in like a tournament with the squad staying over at Bodymoor Heath before and after matches.

Midfielder McGinn said: “We can’t forget the sacrifices us as players and the manager made.

“The manager worked hard, whether that was with Zoom calls or training, staying the night before games and after. There are a lot of us who, before football started back, did not get to see our families.

“I am speaking for a lot of the foreign lads, like Trezeguet, Marvelous (Nakamba) and Douglas (Luiz). That is a long, long time without seeing your parents or your relatives. The sacrifices we made and the gaffer losing his father during that time.

“I said to him after (the final game at West Ham) that was for your old man. I think his luck was shining down on us. We definitely needed that in the end and we managed to get it.

“It would have been very easy to throw the towel in. Everyone had made their mind up that West Ham and Watford had stayed up.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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