Aston Villa injury update: Featuring Kieran Richardson and Ciaran Clark

Villa Park 6

The utility man and centre-back are both struggling with minor injures ahead of Saturday's match against Southampton at Villa Park.

Kieran Richardson and Ciaran Clark are both fitness doubts for Aston Villa’s home game against Southampton tomorrow afternoon, caretaker manager Eric Black has revealed at his pre-match press conference.

The two players both picked up niggling injuries during Thursday’s training session and are set to be assessed ahead of the match at Villa Park.

“We had a couple of knocks yesterday,” Black told reporters. “Kieran Richardson and Ciaran Clark, so we’re going to have to have a look at that overnight and give them a fitness test tomorrow just to see whether they’ll be included in the squad.

"Apart from that, it's the same as last week."

Villa go into Saturday’s game with only pride to play for after their relegation was finally confirmed last weekend following the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.

A truly miserable season has left the Premier League's bottom side sitting 15 points from safety with four games left – having recorded just three wins and scored a division-low 23 goals amid two managerial departures – and Black admits that he now has a tough task on his hands to motivate the squad for the final weeks of the campaign.

“It’s not an easy task, that’s for sure, because of the circumstances surrounding the club,” Black added at his press conference. “But we’re all professional and I can assure you I’ll be professional until the very end. I’ve not done anything different at any other clubs.

“We’ve ticked every box and all we can do is prepare them in every manner, whether that be tactically or physically. We’ve looked at the opposition, got feedback from the last game, so we’ve done everything. Ultimately we’ll see what happens at three o’clock.”

Black, 52, originally joined Villa from Rotherham United in January to work as a first-team coach under Remi Garde, but the Frenchman’s departure last month has left him to oversee club’s run-in while the board conduct the search for a permanent successor.

The Scot has previously had caretaker spells at Birmingham City, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham earlier this season, but he has so far failed to take a point from his first three games in charge of the claret and blues.

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