Tim Sherwood wants Aston Villa’s flair players Adama Traore and Carles Gil to ‘toughen up’ after warning them they’ll soon become marked men in the Premier League.
Summer signing Traore picked up a calf injury in the League Cup match against Notts County, while Spanish midfielder Gil has been in and out of the side after arriving at the club in a £3.2million deal from Valencia in January.
Villa boss Sherwood, however, has told them they’ll need to adjust to the physical demands of the English top flight if they’re to reach their potential at Villa.
“You can’t cry about it,” Sherwood said. “The boys certainly can’t anyway. I can maybe cry about it and get them a bit more protection but the refs need to keep an eye out for that.
“We’re not the only club with flair players around the Premier League. Sometimes the only way to stop them is to do it outside the laws of the game.”
Sherwood said the focus of pre-season training sessions was on strength work and the new arrivals were quickly introduced to the rigours of the English league.
“Certainly when they’re coming in from different leagues, this is the most physical league in the world so I think they need to get used to that body contact,” he added.