Steven Gerrard defends John McGinn after tackle leaves 16-year-old Leeds player on stretcher 4 months ago

Steven Gerrard defends John McGinn after tackle leaves 16-year-old Leeds player on stretcher

'John’s got the ball, he’s been unlucky in the follow through.'

Steven Gerrard has defended John McGinn after the Aston Villa midfielder's tackle led to Leeds teenager Archie Gray being forced off on a stretcher.

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The two Premier League sides clashed in a pre-season friendly in Australia, with Villa securing a 1-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

However, the match was overshadowed by the nasty injury sustained by 16-year-old Gray. After closing the youngster down, McGinn managed to win the ball, but his studs were up and he caught the Leeds prospect on the ankle.

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The Scot received a booking for a heavy challenge on the teenager and quickly apologised. He also received the backing of his manager, who was keen to point out that Gray had dished out a similar tackle earlier on in the tie.

Gerrard said: "We wish the young kid very well, hopefully, it’s not a long injury.

"John’s got the ball, he’s been unlucky in the follow through. There was one just before by the same boy on [Emiliano] Buendia and my heart was in my mouth.

"In the main, it was played in the right way. It got feisty for a short period, there were a few feisty tackles from them, a couple from us. You’ve got two Premier League teams who want to win a game. Both sets want to win even though it’s a friendly. It’s normal."

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Marsch 'hopeful' that Gray's injury is 'not too bad'

Speaking at the time, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch revealed that he didn't know the severity of the injury, but was hoping for a swift recovery.

"We’re hopeful that it’s not too bad. He was in some pain initially but we’re hopeful nothing is broken," said Marsch.

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"Hopefully it’s an ankle sprain and we’ll see the severity of it in the next couple of days."

Villa's next match sees them face off against Brisbane Roar on Wednesday, before coming up against Manchester United on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Leeds are next in action on Friday against Crystal Palace, before they fly home on Sunday.


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