Fingers crossed for Agbonlahor
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish hopes Gabriel Agbonlahor will be fit to face Bolton, but is less optimistic about James Collins.
Last Updated: 21/04/12 7:09pm
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is hopeful Gabriel Agbonlahor will be fit for Tuesday's crucial game against Bolton, but is less optimistic about James Collins.
Villa captain Agbonlahor was forced off in Saturday's dour 0-0 draw against Sunderland with a shoulder injury, while centre-back Collins was also substituted after pulling a groin muscle.
The pair are now both in a race against time to be available when Villa, who have already been decimated by injury and are without Darren Bent among others, welcome Bolton.
A draw with Sunderland means Villa are only five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and 19th-placed Bolton are just an additional point behind with a game in hand.
McLeish therefore wants his strongest team possible for their midweek clash, but he told Sky Sports after the stalemate with Sunderland: "James has got to be doubtful for Tuesday.
"It is difficult to see someone recovering when they have pulled a groin muscle.
"Gabby is better news. He has a shoulder injury, but we believe he could play on Tuesday night. So we will keep our fingers crossed for Gabby leading the line again."
A failure to defeat Sunderland means McLeish's Villa have now won only once in their last 11 home games in the league and they have scored just eight goals in that time.
The former Birmingham boss knows that is not acceptable for a club of such pedigree, but he remains confident they will avoid relegation.
"We have taken a bit of a kicking this season," said McLeish.
"We have had a bit of criticism and it is because of the expectations of Aston Villa football club."