Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood frustrated by Adama Traore's slow return from injury

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The 19-year-old winger has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in last month's 5-3 win over Notts County.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has admitted at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Birmingham City that Adama Traore’s slow recovery from his ankle injury has left him frustrated.

Signed from Barcelona for around £7 million in August, Traore made a hot start to his Villa career when he came off the bench to help create his side’s goal in last month’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.

After his impressive debut display, the 19-year-old winger subsequently earned his first start for the club in the 5-3 Capital One Cup victory over Notts County and opened his claret and blue account with a fine first-half finish.

However, the Spanish-born Malian had to be substituted just over an hour into the second round clash after taking a knock to his ankle and has not been back in action since.

Villa received a boost when he resumed light training this week but the former Spain Under-19 international is all but certain to miss the Birmingham game at this point, leaving Sherwood needing to find an attacking spark from elsewhere.

"Adama’s still short of fitness. It’s taking an awful long time,” said the Villa boss. “I’m a little bit disappointed with it, but it is what it is. Obviously it was a more complex injury than we gave it credit for in the first place.

“He’s out of the boot now and making progress but it’s very slow. You could do with a maverick type like Adama tomorrow evening.”

 2015-16 CompetitionWonDrawnLostGoalsOpp GoalsTotal Shots GAMETotal Passes GAMEPassing AccuracyGames
Birmingham Championship 3 3 1 12 8 11.86 333 65% 7
Aston Villa Premier League 1 1 4 6 9 11.33 430.83 79% 6

Villa, meanwhile, are off to their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign, having taken just four points from six games and gone without a win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth.

Now sitting in 17th-place in the table after back-to-back losses to Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion, respectively, another derby defeat on Tuesday night would leave Sherwood facing a potential crisis just a couple of months into his first full season in charge.

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur head coach is not panicking at this point but, knowing the importance of the fixture, is still unlikely to risk fielding a weakened cup line-up for the meeting with bitter rivals Birmingham – even with a trip to Liverpool coming up on Saturday.

“I would make changes if I thought it was the best thing to win the football match,” Sherwood added. “I’m not making changes to rest anyone for the weekend.

“We know it will be tough. We will show them a lot of respect - but not too much.

“It's a derby game and anything can happen - but we expect to win the game but I can say to you all the time that we expect to win every football match we take part in. It doesn't always necessarily work out that way.”

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