McCann out for season

The tenacious midfield player broke down against Nottingham Forest's reserves last Thursday, only his second comeback match and a scan confirmed the 27-year-old would need more surgery. David O'Leary said: “Gavin had another operation on Saturday and is out for the rest of the season. We cleared up the niggle that he had and the operation went well. But he's out again which just about sums up our season.”

“It's just the way the season has been going and, apart from Gavin, we've now got Darius [Vassell] and Martin [Laursen] back on the sidelines with injuries. Considering all these problems, I think the players who have been involved have done magnificently well to keep us in with even a shout of qualifying for Europe at this late stage of the season.”

Villa were today awaiting news on how serious are the ankle and knee problems respectively sustained by Vassell and Laursen in Saturday's 3-2 win at Southampton.