Villa stalwart gets a confidence boost ahead of derby clash

One-club men are a rare breed these days, but Gabby Agbonlahor could be joining that endangered Premier League species according to Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood.

Speaking ahead of Villa’s trip to Midlands rivals Leicester, Sherwood strongly hinted that 28-year-old Agbonlahor would remain at the club for the foreseeable future, despite not scoring since mid-March.

“Gabby’s an important part of this football club and I can’t ever see him leaving,” said Sherwood.

“He’s an important part of this club going forward. “These next three games are what Gabby’s all about. He comes to life in these derby games.

“No-one wants to win derby games more than Gabby. He’s a homegrown player,” added the Villa gaffer.

Sherwood was keen to point out to some fans who’ve become a little disgruntled with the lack of goals in recent times, that the player has been working extra hard in training to put things right, while offering the younger players great support behind the scenes too.

The timing of this public backing from his manager is sure to be a welcome one from Agbonlahor’s perspective with pressure mounting to shake the scoring monkey from his back.

Although the Villa Academy product is the club’s all-time Premier League goalscorer with 73 since breaking through in ‘05/’06, a return of just six last season and none in three so far this term have left some supporters miffed.

However, as Sherwood pointed out, Agbonlahor tends to come into his own in derby games, scoring twice against bitter rivals West Brom over the last three seasons.

If his extra finishing work in training has paid off, it could just pay off for Ladbrokes customers as well in backing the Villa marksman for the King Power opener at 8/1, especially as the televised clash qualifies for Ladbrokes’ Sharp Shooter Promotion*.

*Double your odds if your 1st Goalscorer bet scores in the opening 25 minutes in selected live TV games.

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