By Abigail Withey 

Steve Bruce has revealed that forward Scott Hogan was complaining about a foot injury before he was substituted off in Aston Villa’s League Cup loss to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old had featured in all of the club’s Carabao Cup matches this season and scored three goals in just as many games, but he hasn’t been as successful in the Championship as he is yet to find the net during his seven appearances.

The centre-forward was handed a place in the starting line-up on Tuesday night and seemed less than impressed when the Villa boss replaced him with Jordan Lyden.

After seeing Hogan limp, it rang alarm bells for Bruce, which is why he decided it was best to bring him off in order to prevent an injury ahead of Saturday’s match against Nottingham Forest.

“He complained of a sore foot at half time and the doctors and the physios were looking at him,” Bruce explained, as quoted in the Birmingham Mail.

“In the second half I made the decision that if he’s struggling with it – we’ve got a big game at the weekend – what’s the point in aggravating it?

“He’s disappointed that he’s come off, good, but he looked to me as if he was limping and that’s why I made the decision.”

The forward joined the Claret and Blues back in January, but looks to have slipped in Bruce’s pecking order behind Jonathan Kodjia and Keinan Davis.

Aston Villa’s 3-0 loss to Garry Monk’s Boro side will have no doubt dampened spirits, but Bruce will now how vital securing a win in the Championship will be at the weekend.

In other Aston Villa news, Tony Xia has responded to rumours that he is looking to sell the club.

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