Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph says he feels mentally stronger following the injury problems that have dogged his career at Villa Park.

The former England Under 21 international was frustrated by injuries last season but was able to contribute during the club's victories over Arsenal and Liverpool at the back end of the campaign.

However, following a full pre-season, the 21-year-old will be ready to bounce back with a vengeance, and new boss Alex McLeish has already hailed him as, potentially, a key player.

“I understand that some people are luckier than others with injuries and obviously for the last two years I’ve been quite unlucky,” said Delph.

 

“I’ve learned to deal with it now. When it happened I thought ‘here we go again’, but that only happens for an hour and then you think about how fast you can get back fit again.

“If we want to speak to someone we can if we’re struggling mentally or the doctor will give us a week off to go and chill with the family. I never have that, I just want to get back fit.

“For me personally, I like to be busy and occupy and try to better myself.

“I’m not too bothered about not having a summer. If I had to get injured I preferred it to be the last game of the season.”

Following the release of Nigel Reo-Coker, Delph's opportunities are expected to be more frequent next season as he looks to continue the progress made during the last campaign.

Delph made eight appearances for the club last term but is hoping for an extended spell in the team under new manager Alex McLeish.


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