Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott buoyed by captaincy honour

The boyhood Villa fan opened his claret and blue account in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Southampton while wearing the armband.

Joleon Lescott had arguably his best game in an Aston Villa shirt in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, but it was not just his stout defensive performance that made it a memorable match for the Birmingham-born centre-back.

A boyhood Villa fan, the 33-year-old summer signing was captaining the club at St Mary’s with usual skipper Micah Richards out injured and marked the occasion with his first goal in claret and blue, tapping in a low and bouncing Jordan Veretout corner just before half-time.

The Premier League’s bottom side would have to settle for a point in the end after Saints substitute Oriol Romeu turned in a corner with 17 minutes remaining, but after being under the cosh for long spells of the match, Lescott was still pleased with the result.

Moreover, he was even more delighted at getting the chance to lead out his childhood club on the afternoon, telling Villa’s official website: "It was a boyhood dream to be skipper. To be told I was going to captain Aston Villa, a team I've supported and loved - it's something I never thought would be possible.

"You always aim and dream of it happening - and it's another one off the bucket list. It was a very proud moment for me.

"In terms of the game itself, it was important we got something out of it. We know we've got the quality but with the situation that we're in, it's mainly confidence that plays a part in results and performances.

"Saturday was a positive display and result so hopefully now the belief will grow and we can hit some form and take that into our next run of games."

 Vs Southampton GoalsOutfield BlocksTotal ClearancesDuels WonDuels LostInterceptionsTotal PassesPassing AccuracyBall RecoveriesDispossessedMins Played
Joleon Lescott 1 1 8 1 2 1 21 76% 4 0 90

Lescott originally joined Villa from Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion on deadline day for a reported £1 million fee, rising to £2 million with add-ons, and slotted straight into the now departed Tim Sherwood’s side over fellow left-sided stopper Ciaran Clark.

However, the former England international came in for strong criticism of his performances amid the club’s worst-ever start to a top-flight campaign, and after making seven straight league starts, he found himself dropped from the line-up upon new boss Garde’s arrival last month.

The Southampton draw saw him get his first game action under the Frenchman alongside Jores Okore in the heart of defence, but with Clark completing a one-game suspension and Richards expect to be back for next weekend’s visit of Arsenal, his return to the line-up could be short-lived.

With the fit-again Okore also pushing for a regular starting spot and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori recovered from a groin problem, the ex-Baggies man faces a fight to keep himself in Garde’s plans going forward, but his latest run-out at least showed that, despite his age, he still has something left to offer at the top-flight level.

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