Delph: Losing Gabby is a blow but he will come back stronger
Fabian Delph admits it is a bitter blow to lose Gabby Agbonlahor for the start of the season - but has backed the striker to come back firing on all cylinders.
Delph issued a message of support to the Erdington-born ace, who will miss the first few weeks of the campaign after injuring his knee during Villa's tour of the USA.
The former Leeds midfielder is no stranger to knee problems himself having ruptured a cruciate ligament in the first season of his claret and blue career.
He was relieved to hear that Agbonlahor's injury was not as bad as first feared.
"It is a blow because in pre-season Gabby has done really well and against Chicago, before his injury, he was unbelievable," said Delph.
"Obviously the boys are disappointed, but I'm sure in a few weeks he will be back with us and he seems pretty confident because he's naturally fit.
"You don't know anything until you get the scan back.
"I've had problems with my knee, so you can't guess, you've got to get these things checked and then you know exactly what you've done.
"I think a few of the lads feared the worst and I certainly did because he's a good friend of mine.
"When he went down I didn't think it looked good initially, but when we've come in after the game, nobody seemed concerned or worried so that's a relief.
"It means that Nathan Delfouneso and Andi Weimann might get even more of a chance and both of them are raring to go and they've got that extra spring in their step.
"Nathan and Andi have looked very sharp and their workrate is very good."
Delph says the new faces in the squad, along with Paul Lambert's philosophies, have given Villa fresh impetus.
"The signings that we've made so far have definitely strengthened the squad and it's probably the best pre-season I've been involved in," added the 22-year-old.
"I'm only young, but it's the best one I've been in so far and everybody seems to be fired up.
"The way we set up to play football from the back to the front through the middle is really good and I think it will set us instead for the start of the season.
"Defensively we've always been strong, but obviously last season was a bit difficult for us.
"We've set out a different way. It's always better to be working hard with the ball rather than without it.
"It obviously seems a lot easier when you've got the ball and we're all happy and we're all raring to go."
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