Villa Park needs maligned striker.
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has hailed striker Emile Heskey as too important to leave out his team despite his on-going ankle injury.
The 33-year-old is playing i a deeper role for his side this season but has been putting in some of the best performances of his recent career.
McLeish admits the former England international cannot complete 90 minutes due to his injury but is full of praise for his effort and dedication.
“Emile again worked tirelessly for the team on Saturday even though he has an ongoing problem with his Achilles,” McLeish said.
“The situation is such that we can’t really play him for the full 90 minutes.
“But he is effective in the team with the contribution he makes and the appreciation of his team-mates for him and what he gives is there to see.”
McLeish is hoping Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov’s hamstring problem, which forced him to be substituted in the second half, is not a serious setback.
He added: “Stiliyan felt a little niggle in his hamstring. He thinks he caught it just in time but we’ll get him on the treatment table.
“He couldn’t go on. He would have become a liability in midfield for us.”