Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gana getting specialist treatment for injury

The Senegal international has missed Villa's past two games with a hamstring problem.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Birmingham City that Idrissa Gana has flown to France to seek a cure for his recent hamstring troubles.

The 25-year-old midfielder was injured while playing for Senegal earlier this month and has since missed both the 3-2 defeat at Leicester City and Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to West Bromwich Albion.

He was due to face the Baggies on the weekend but suffered a setback in training on the eve of the game which has now ruled him out of the Birmingham clash and forced him to seek specialist treatment.

Sherwood does not believe the £9 million summer signing from Lille will be sidelined for long but, after the successful start he has made to his claret and blue career, he admits that his ongoing absence has been a big blow.

"He's gone back to France to see a specialist he knows there who he's confident with,” said Sherwood. “We're waiting to hear from him today and hopefully he'll give us some positive news.

"We thought he was going to play on Saturday but he got injured again in training on Friday with a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury.

"It’s a little bit disappointing because, out of all the players we’ve brought in, he is the most outstanding one who has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water."

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsGoal AssistTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Tackles GAMEInterceptions GAMETotal Dribbles GAMEDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Idrissa Gueye 0 0 6 84% 4.25 3 3.25 57% 4 360

Villa’s last encounter with fierce rivals Birmingham in January 2011 saw them held to a 1-1 Premier League draw at St Andrew’s but the two teams also met at the quarter-final stage of the League Cup the month before.

Nikola Zigic’s late strike handed the Blues a 2-1 win on that occasion, as they went on to lift the trophy, and the Championship side will be hoping to cause another upset after losing just one of their opening nine games of the season.

Villa, meanwhile, are without a top-flight win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth and the pressure is starting to build on Sherwood after the West Brom loss dropped his side down to 17th-place in the table.

Another derby defeat would certainly set alarm bells ringing but, despite their recent poor form, the ex-Tottenham Hotspur coach is confident that his players will be able to handle the occasion – even the summer signings who are unfamiliar with the important of the fixture.

“It is going to be intense,” added Sherwood. “It’s a big game and one which I think a lot of the players can handle – those ones will be on the pitch.

"I'm telling them that it's not a normal game. It means an awful lot to the fans and an awful lot to us in the dressing room at this present moment in time because we need to experience that winning feeling again. I'm not used to losing as many football games as I actually have.

"You need to keep focused and keep to your plan and make sure you impose yourself on a very organised Birmingham side. It's going to be blood and thunder and we expect that but we need 11 players on the pitch at the end of the game."

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