Dean Smith makes Ross Barkley admission after Aston Villa heroics

Dean Smith lauded match-winner Ross Barkley and revealed how Villa’s loan ace was touch-and-go to play at Leicester after picking up a knee injury in training.

The 26-year-old struck a sweet 25-yard volley in the 90th-minute to win it at the King Power and helped maintain Villa’s perfect Premier League start.

Afterwards, Smith said of the Chelsea star: “He’s a high-calibre player. I’m thankful to Chelsea that they’ve loaned him to us and I sold him the project here and told him I’ll get him in the Euros squad and he’s going to try and help us win football games. He’s certainly done that in his first couple.

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“The doc (Ricky Shamji) has looked after him the past week. He’s had a bit of a knee injury and he was touch and go as to whether he was going to start. He only trained on Saturday. He’s done a lot of work with the Doc who nursed him through a 90-minute winner. I’ve certainly thanked the Doc as well.”

Smith added: “Getting a goal as a Blue last week against the Reds and a goal tonight it couldn’t have gone any better for him. It was a tough game today and that bit of quality shone through at the end.”

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