Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has admitted to the Birmingham Mail that he was surprised by how long John McGinn lasted in his side’s match against Sheffield United yesterday.
McGinn returned to Villa’s starting line-up in a major boost to the claret and blues, and he helped them collect a 0-0 draw.
While McGinn may not have been at his very best, Villa supporters were delighted to see the Scottish international back in their line-up.
And Smith admits he was surprised by McGinn’s fitness, as he lasted nearly the full game.
“I expected to bring him off earlier than 75 minutes, to be honest,” Smith said.
“It was good for him. When Ollie Norwood got the wrong side of him I thought it was time to bring him off.”
McGinn has always been an energetic player, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that he is ahead of schedule on his comeback from injury.
The box-to-box midfielder has been badly missed by Villa in the past few months, and Smith will be relying on him to perform to his best to help his side escape the drop.
Villa are currently in serious relegation trouble, and sit in 19th place in the Premier League table as things stand.