Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has clarified why he was forced to substitute Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham on Saturday, per reports by the Birmingham Mail.
Villa’s top goalscorer was forced off on the 82nd minute against Middlesbrough, having netted his 11th goal of the season earlier in the game.
Abraham has featured in 14 Championship fixtures for the Villans so far this season, and three games inside a week took its toll on the 21-year-old.
Speaking after the Boro match, Smith explained that the 6 foot 3 striker was carrying a slight injury as well as tiredness.
“We have had three games in six days,” said Smith. “He has scored six goals in that as well!
“He was tired, and it just shows the quality we have that Scott Hogan could come on, run at them and set up the third goal as well. It’s [the injury] just a kick and fatigue.”
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Abraham only carrying a slight kick and fatigue out of the Boro match would have left Smith puffing out a massive sigh of relief.
While the 13-cap Ivory Coast international Jonathan Kodjia has started eight games as a striker, and scored three goals in those matches, Abraham will be the forward that pushes Villa on during a promotion challenge.
The on-loan Chelsea product is proving to have found his level in the Championship, highlighted significantly in the 5-5 draw at home to Nottingham Forest, where he bagged four of the goals and the man-of-the-match award.
Kodjia, on the other hand, may be left slightly disappointed, as he was left as a late second-half substitute at the Riverside Stadium on a day Yannick Bolasie starred.