Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede not fretting over playing time

The towering front man has scored twice in three starts and four substitute appearances since his summer move from Blackburn Rovers.

Aston Villa summer signing Rudy Gestede has yet to establish himself as a regular starter in Tim Sherwood’s side but, speaking to AVTV, the towering striker has insisted that he will fill whatever role his manager asks of him.

Gestede, 26, joined Villa from Blackburn Rovers in the summer for around £6 million, having scored 35 times in 72 appearances across all competitions during his 18-month spell at the Championship club.

19 of those goals came off headers – the most in England over the past two seasons – and he demonstrated that renowned aerial prowess in the Premier League opener at Bournemouth, when he came off the bench to power home a 72nd-minute winner from a corner.

However, the 6ft 4in front man has since struggled for his best form at Villa Park and, before Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup third round clash with Birmingham City, had flattered to deceive in his past two starts and three goalless substitute appearances.

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsTotal ShotsShooting AccuracyBig Chances MissedAssistsKey PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyHeaders WonHeader SuccessAppearancesMins Played
Rudy Gestede 1 14 21% 1 0 1 112 52% 40 56% 6 302

His performance against the Blues was far from stellar either but he did manage to show just how valuable he could be to Villa moving forward, popping up in the 62nd-minute with a trademark headed finish from Jordan Amavi’s cross to seal the hosts a 1-0 win over their bitter rivals.

The goal will have likely put him in contention for a second consecutive start in Saturday’s match at Liverpool but, after a summer of rebuilding, the club’s newfound squad depth means he will not fret if he has to settle for a place among the substitutes on the afternoon.

Speaking after the win over Birmingham, Gestede told AVTV: “I’m ready when the manager needs me. We’ve got a very good set of forwards so, whether it’s me or someone else, they’re going to do the job.

“It’s good for the team. We know that when we change one or two players the level is still going to be high.”

Continuing on the Liverpool game, the French-born Benin international added: “It’s going to be a tough game. Liverpool are a big team but we’ve got enough to make something happen.

“The atmosphere is going to be intense but we like it like that and we’re ready for it. Last season I played there with Blackburn and we did well, so maybe I’ll do better with Villa because we’re a better team.

“We need the win now so we can stop looking behind our backs.”

Villa are currently in the midst of their worst start to a league season since 1986-87, having taken just four points from their first six games and gone without a Premier League win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth.

Nevertheless, Liverpool themselves have been struggling for form of late, as Wednesday night’s meeting with Carlisle United at Anfield in the third round of the League Cup saw them require penalties to get past the League Two side.

Siting in 13th-place in the table, they certainly look there for the taking and the weekend’s game could well be the perfect opportunity for Gestede to make himself the hero once again.

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