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Aston Villa senior figure concerned at team's performances, not sure of starting XI

By Amir Mir

Aston Villa club ambassador Ian Taylor has revealed on Twitter he is still unsure of the make-up of the starting eleven ahead of the Championship kick-off this weekend.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side suffered a 3-1 pre-season loss to Premier League outfit Middlesbrough on Saturday, a week before they travel to Sheffield Wednesday for their curtainraiser in the second tier.

Former Villa midfielder Taylor was unimpressed by the display against Boro despite centre-back Nathan Baker giving the Championship side an early lead.

“Mmmm…still plenty of work to do from this showing,” Taylor wrote on his personal Twitter account. “Still concerned for lack of crosses re Gestede. I’m still guessing starting 11.”

Here is the post on Twitter from the Villa fan favourite.

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Villa target-man Rudy Gestede, who has reportedly been offered to Premier League outfit Hull in a part-exchange deal for striker Abel Hernandez, played the full 90 minutes on Saturday.

But, ex-Villa man Taylor believes the club did not play to his strengths as last year’s nightmares come back to haunt the club, less than a week before the Championship season.

Di Matteo’s side have won five pre-season games, most notably against French side Nantes, but a lack of transfer activity and their first pre-season defeat will be a concern for the Villa supporters.

The club have yet to land a striker despite Di Matteo and new owner Tony Xia insisting that their priority is to purchase a new front man before the transfer window shuts on August 31.

Additionally, the Midlands outfit have not yet been able to offload the underperformers of last season, with goalkeeper Brad Guzan the only notable exit.

In other Aston Villa team news, owner Tony Xia has this scathing assessment of the club’s former managers.