Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has hailed the performance of goalkeeper Jed Steer as the Villains progressed to their second-straight Championship play-off final. The Villains faced off against arch-rivals West Bromwich Albion during the playoff semi-final where they progressed on penalties after the scores were level (2-2) after both legs.
Speaking after the game, Smith praised the impact of Steer, who had spent time on loan with Charlton Athletic during the first half of the season, he said: “It’s amazing what can happen and how opportunities arise. Orjan was doing well but snapped his Achilles and the phone call went in to get Jed back and he’s been brilliant for us.
Aston Villa have ended the speculation regarding Alan Hutton’s future at the club by rewarding him with a fresh one-year contract. The 33-year-old had been linked with both Rangers and Nottingham Forest with his deal expiring at the end of the month but the Villains have now committed him to a new extension.
“Aston Villa is delighted to announce that Alan Hutton has signed a one-year contract with the club. The defender made 33 league and cup appearances for Villa last season. Since joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2011, Hutton has gone on to rack up nearly 170 appearances in claret and blue,” a statement read on the club’s official website.
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has revealed the extent of a serious kidney injury which could have ended his professional career for good. The youngster sustained the problem after a challenge by close friend and Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley in pre-season and this saw him miss the opening months of the Championship campaign.
In an interview with The Mirror, he said: “I took a kick to the kidney and it split in two places. It was pouring with blood, internally, for about five hours. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I went to Heartlands hospital in Birmingham. They found out what it was and I was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth for an operation. Before it happened, the surgeon had to tell me the consequences of what could happen if it didn’t work. He looked me in the eye and said, ‘Jack, you could die’. My reply was, ‘What?’ I was genuinely scared. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I came back from that injury a different person.”