Dean Smith says he is not currently worrying about the possibility of being without midfielder John McGinn for a potential play-off campaign because of the risk of suspension.
McGinn has been booked 13 times in the league this season, and two more in the final four games of the Championship season would see him receive a three match suspension.
That means that if McGinn were to receive a 15th yellow card of the season on the final day at home to current league leaders Norwich, he would miss both legs of the play-off semi-final and the Wembely final itself, should Villa get there.
Although he is aware of that situation, it is not something that Smith says is concerning him at the minute, and when asked about the possibility of dropping McGinn to avoid a suspension for the play-offs he told the Express and Star: “It would depend on where we were in the league at that time and whether we were mathematically certain of the play-offs – or whether he is playing well or not.
“At the moment it’s nothing to worry about, he is on 13 (bookings). If he gets one on Friday then I will start worrying then. At the moment, I don’t need to.”
McGinn has made 37 Championship appearances this season, meaning he is operating at just under an average of one booking every three games.
Along with McGinn, Preston’s Ben Pearson, Wigan’s Sam Morsy and Sheffield Wednesday’s Barry Bannan have all been booked 13 times this season, although they are all beaten by Jack Colback of Nottingham Forest, who has been shown yellow on 14 occasions this season.
Smith looks to be playing this smartly.
While they will surely be worried about losing McGinn for the play-offs, they must first make sure they get there, and while they have some leeway with the Scotsman, his performances mean they must surely use him for as long as they can.
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