Tim Sherwood reacts to Jordan Ayew's performance in Aston Villa's win over Birmingham

The 24-year-old striker came off the bench at half-time to help the hosts record a 1-0 victory in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

Jordan Ayew showed Aston Villa fans a glimpse of things to come in Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup third round clash with Birmingham City, producing a game-changing performance off the bench to help the hosts beat their bitter rivals 1-0.

The 24-year-old striker was introduced at half-time along with Jack Grealish and immediately brought a creative spark to a side which had struggled to get out of first gear throughout the opening 45 minutes, as he and his midfield teammate proceeded to carve up the opposition defence with their passing and movement in the final third.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood was especially impressed by his performance and, having seen the £8.5 million summer signing from Lorient endure criticise for his slow start to life in England, he was quick to single him out for praise after the match.

Speaking to AVTV after Rudy Gestede’s 62nd-minute header from a perfectly-placed Jordan Amavi cross had sealed his side the win, Sherwood said: “Jordan Ayew was excellent. I think people have got to take their time before they start criticising anyone.

“Six [Premier League] games into a season is still the settling in period and we’ve always said that for these boys.

“That will have done him the world of good and I was delighted for him.”

Ayew, the son of Ghana legend Abedi Pele, joined Villa in July after enjoying a breakout 2014-15 season at Lorient, in which he scored 12 times in 26 Ligue 1 appearances.

His impressive goalscoring form had led to reported interest from the likes of Everton earlier in the summer [h/t Liverpool Echo] but the Ghana international later opted to head to the West Midlands instead after holding talks with Sherwood.

The former Marseille man has so far failed to score in five appearances for the club, however, and, with older brother Andre currently enjoying a sensational start to life at Swansea City, that has led mocking claims that Villa brought the wrong sibling.

However, if his latest performance was indeed a sign of things to come, then those jibes should be a thing of the past in due time.

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