Eric Black launches defence of Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott has been heavily criticised by Aston Villa fans this season.

Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black has told the Belfast Telegraph that Joleon Lescott is extremely professional.

Lescott has felt the wrath of Villa fans this season, with his use of social media receiving particularly criticism.

Stan Collymore has been one of the main critics of Lescott, with the experienced defender looking likely to leave Villa Park at the end of the season.

The former England international’s relationship with supporters of the Midlands club has suffered badly.

However, Black has defended the 33-year-old, and he insists that Lescott has never asked to be taken out of the team, even though he has faced a barrage of abuse.

"That will be up to performances on the pitch. There is no other way to turn the fans around,” Black said, when asked whether Lescott could win Villa fans back around.

"But I can't point the finger at Joleon Lescott because of his attitude or his desire to be in the team so I give him credit for that.

"He's an extremely professional individual and you'd have to ask him how he feels. He's never said anything to me (that it is too much for him).

"Obviously I'd have to look at the whole game again to see if that's the case but he's not voiced anything like that to me.

"He's a very experienced footballer and it won't get too much for him. He's part of the team, we have to remain a group and these are not easy circumstances.”

Lescott has remained a key player for Black, during his time in charge, but his form has been poor this season.

The former Manchester City man has looked off the pace, and his poor form has contributed to Villa’s demise.

The Claret and Blues have won just three matches all season, and their first ever Premier League relegation has already been confirmed.

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