By Will Butcher
Steve Bruce has revealed that Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor is on a special training programme to get him back to full fitness.
The 30-year-old has failed to feature for the Midlands giants this season, but Bruce has offered a clean slate for the controversial striker.
Speaking ahead of Villa’s Championship clash against Fulham on Friday, Bruce revealed that Agbonlahor will only be considered if he regains his match fitness.
“Gabby has dipped in and out with us,” Bruce told Aston Villa’s website. “He’s on a programme at the moment, which he is a week into. He’s listened and wants to succeed again.
“This week he’s been terrific in everything we have put to him. He’s worked extremely hard. He understands that he has to get himself in better condition.”
Agbonlahor was deemed unfit at the end of the club’s relegation campaign in 2015/16, as criticism from supporters led to the boyhood Villa fan giving up the captaincy.
However, the three-time England international could be given a chance to pull on the claret and blue of Villa once again following the appointment of the former Hull City and Birmingham manager.
Bruce, 55, will be hoping to keep his unbeaten as Villa boss going against Fulham on Saturday, as he aims to orchestrate his side’s rise up the Championship table.
Villa recorded their first away victory since August 2015 when they beat Reading 2-1 on Tuesday night, which was also Bruce’s first victory since taking charge.
A win could see Bruce’s side move up to a lofty 12th position, if other results go their way.
In other Aston Villa news, this defender could be axed by Bruce as he prepares his side to face the Cottagers.