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Aston Villa's John McGinn 'proud of resilience' in turning around season

Villa skipper John McGinn admits to being proud at the resilience he showed in transforming his own season from one of struggle to success.

John McGinn celebrates his goal in win over Chelsea
John McGinn celebrates his goal in win over Chelsea

McGinn is in talks over a new contract after a superb second half of the campaign which culminated in Villa securing a return to European football.

But the Scot admits many would have “laughed” at that notion during the early months of the season, when he struggled for form prior to the arrival of Unai Emery as head coach.

McGinn was dropped from the starting XI during the interim period between Steven Gerrard’s sacking and Emery’s arrival at the start of November and describes that period as the most challenging of his career.

He told The Telegraph: “It’s been quite the turnaround. The resilience I have shown this season is something I am quite proud of and thinking I am now through that means there is more to come.

“I have certainly enjoyed the last three-quarters of this season and have probably played the best football of my career.

“It’s a club on the up but it means absolutely nothing if we don’t deliver on the pitch. The fans are demanding but they crave success, they crave European football. The manager is the same and he has been clear about it: compete in Europe, compete for trophies.”

McGinn was handed the captaincy prior to the season under Gerrard and believes he has grown into the role under Emery, who he credits with taking his game to the next level.

He added: “The best thing for me is that he (Emery) judged with his own eyes.

““There was a lot of noise from outside – ‘he (McGinn) can’t lead, he can’t be the captain’.

“I am not a huge speaker. I feel I have a lot of respect in the dressing room but I am not going to be a Conor Coady or Jordan Henderson.

“I try and lead by the way that I play. The perception was pretty easy for me to see: because I wasn’t playing well, therefore I was not leading.

“Now I am playing well I am all of a sudden an OK captain. I feel that perception is normal but I have grown into the role and am enjoying the responsibility.”

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