Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood explains his decision to substitute Carles Gil against Leicester

Tim Sherwood Press Conference Smiling 12/02/2014

Villa suffered a 3-2 defeat at the King Power Stadium after letting a two-goal lead slip following the Spanish goalscorer's second-half withdrawal.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has defended his decision to substitute Carles Gil during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Leicester City, telling the club’s official website that the goalscorer was dealing with an injury.

After Jack Grealish’s first-half opener, Gil put Villa 2-0 up in the 63rd-minute of the match with a fantastic left-footed strike from the edge of the box, but the Spanish playmaker was then taken off for striker Jordan Ayew just seconds later.

The 22-year-old had been arguably Villa’s best player until that point and they promptly collapsed in his absence, as subsequent goals from Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Vardy and Nathan Dyer late on consigned the visitors to their third defeat in five Premier League games.

However, speaking after the match, Sherwood insisted that he had to make the change as the former Valencia man was struggling with the aftereffects of a knock he picked up during the first period.

“I had to,” he said when asked about replacing Gil. “I was going to make the substitution before he scored as he was struggling with that injury.

“You make changes - sometimes they work for you, sometimes they don't. I'm not sure if they were the reasons the game got away from us. People can draw their own conclusion.”

  Total ShotsShots OntargetTotal Key PassesBig Chances MissedTotal PassesPassing AccuracyPossession Percentage
Leicester 21 6 17 0 386 77% 48%
Aston Villa 11 4 10 1 417 74% 51%

Continuing on his side’s dramatic collapse, Sherwood added: “The first goal gives them the momentum and unfortunately we couldn't wrestle it back off them.

“The only way you wrestle momentum off a team is by keeping the ball off them. We just kept giving it back to them. Not good enough!

“We turned it over stupidly. I am gutted. We need to stop letting in soft goals. They didn't have to work too hard for their goals.”

Villa sit in 15th-place in the table and are without a league win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth, having since managed to pick up just one point in last month’s 2-2 home draw with Sunderland before the international break.

They now host Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion next weekend, in a repeat of the fixture that saw Sherwood pick up his first win in charge with a 2-1 victory last March, before beating them again 2-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals just a few days later.

With a Capital One Cup third-round tie against Birmingham City also coming up after the Baggies clash, a positive set of results from the coming two games would certainly go a long way towards lifting the current mood around the club.

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