Aston Villa manager Dean Smith believes John McGinn may require more protection from referees after being “targeted” during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Burnley.
Smith saw his side surrender another lead as they were twice pegged back by the visitors at Villa Park, where Chris Wood’s late header earned Burnley a point.
McGinn had scored his third goal of the season moments earlier, having seen a first-half effort chalked off by VAR.
Anwar El Ghazi gave Villa the half-time lead before Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez netted the initial equaliser with his first Premier League goal since April 2018.
But it was Scotland international McGinn who once again shone in the Villa line-up, and Smith felt he was given a rough deal by the opposition.
“He’s excellent,” Smith said of the midfielder.
“He’s been consistently good with all of our performances, always looks like he’ll score goals, scored two today but had one disallowed.
“He’s all action, gets in the opposition box and scores goals, he wins free-kicks, but today, for me, he wasn’t protected.
“He won’t mind a rough and tumble tackle as long as it’s a fair one, but there were too many that were unfair. They’ve targeted him because he’s one of our better players, that’s for sure.
“He was outstanding. How they came through that first half without a yellow card on McGinn was beyond me.
“It was almost like a tag team on him. He’ll have a few bruises, that’s for sure.”
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