Dean Smith admitted that any team would miss Jack Grealish after Aston Villa fell to a 2-1 loss to Leicester in his absence.
Grealish has been a key player for Villa this season, but was forced to miss the Leicester clash through injury.
Villa suffered without their captain, as they fell two goals down in the first half. Bertrand Traore halved the deficit shortly after the break, but it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback.
It meant Villa’s inconsistent form of late continued. Even though Smith was content with their second half fightback, he knew where they went wrong overall.
He told Sky Sports: “It was a game of two halves. They started well, were aggressive and we played in front of them.
“We had to stretch the game and we did that in the second half.
“We never went anywhere with the ball in the first half, didn’t put any balls in behind. In the second half we played in their half which is what we had to do.
“They were hanging on at the end to get the win.
“You are always going to miss a top class player, take Jack Grealish out of any team and you’d miss him but the XI that was out there was good enough to win.
“We created chances, got in good areas, we have players who can score goals.”
Extent of Grealish injury assessed
Some reports have indicated that Grealish could miss around a month. However, speaking before the game, Smith said he was staying optimistic.
He told Sky: “He has had some discomfort in training this week. At the end of the week we decided he wasn’t right to play.
“We don’t believe it’s a long-term injury, we’re just going to assess him as he goes.
“The injury is on his leg. It isn’t a recurring injury.
“I’ve no idea [how long he’ll be out for]. I’m hopeful, I’m always an optimist.”