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Ciaran Clark Should be Fit for Double Gameweek

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Clark hands Villa a boost

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish expects Ciaran Clark to be fit for Saturday's crucial Barclays Premier League encounter with Sunderland.

Clark's return after an eight-match absence with a knee injury was cut short at Manchester United on Sunday. Although the 22-year-old elected to continue after sustaining a nasty head wound in a collision with Patrice Evra, it soon became obvious Clark was too groggy to go on.

However, McLeish does not believe the Republic of Ireland international suffered any concussion, and said: "Ciaran took a head knock but I don't believe there was concussion. He has had stitches but he should be okay. Hopefully he is able to train this week and we will try to sharpen him up."

On a related note, is it ever a good sign when a manager starts talking like this:

"We have three cup finals coming up so the players have to stop feeling sorry for themselves and start recovering immediately," said McLeish, who received more backing from his old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

Has the "n number of cup finals" speech ever motivated a team?

I'm heavily invested in Aston Villa with two home matches this gameweek... but I am very nervous about it.