Dean Smith was left far from happy after Brendan Rodgers learned of Jack Grealish’s injury – 24 hours before Aston Villa’s clash with Leicester on Sunday.
Quickfire first-half goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes helped the Foxes temporarily back into second in the Premier League. Bertrand Traore pulled a goal back for the hosts, but it was a relatively comfortable afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Villa’s cause was certainly not helped by the absence of talisman Grealish. News of the the Villa skipper’s absence was all over social media on Friday night. That was after it was noted how Villa players and staff had dropped the England man from their fantasy teams.
Certainly Smith was far from happpy about it and vowed to find out how the news was leaked.
“I was made aware that it came out on social media outlining he wasn’t going to play. If it’s coming out of our training ground, I will find out where that’s coming from and reprimand who it’s coming from,” Smith said.
The Villa boss also felt the news gave the Foxes a boost ahead of the Villa Park clash.
“Yeah, it certainly does (give the opposition a leg-up),” Smith added. “It’s something I wouldn’t be happy with so we’ll certainly get to the bottom of this.”
Rodgers denies Grealish information helped
Foxes boss Rodgers insisted that while he heard the news 24 hours before the match, he denied it helped their prospects. That’s after he claimed that, without being certain, he was unable to make concrete plans.
“We always have to prepare that he was going to play,” Rodgers said in his post-match press conference.
“I’d heard maybe 24 hours before that there was a doubt but you can never always believe things, the rumours that go around, so we have to be aware and think that he is going to play.”
Smith admitted he was unsure how long Grealish would face on the sidelines. They face Leeds at Elland Road on Saturday before a game with Sheffield United three days later.
“If I’m an optimist maybe he’ll be back for Leeds or, if not, Sheffield United,” Smith said. “But I have to be guided by him and the medical staff and see how it is.”