By Keith Hackett

20th Sep, 2021 | 5:29pm

Hackett: Aston Villa tipped to hold internal review after controversy

Keith Hackett has claimed Aston Villa will be reviewing their concussion protocols today after John McGinn’s substitution against Everton at the weekend.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League referee insisted it is of vital importance that concussion is taken seriously in football.

Villa utilised a concussion substitute to replace McGinn just before half-time in their 3-0 win over Everton.

As quoted by Birmingham Live, Dean Smith explained the midfielder had taken a knock on his head after 26 minutes and was substituted 15 minutes later.

He also took a knock on the cheek in the opening stages of the game.

“Clearly, he took a big whack on his head,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“What we have to do here is the manager can’t then say ‘You’re back on’. This is very much down to the medical team to ensure the player is clear to go back on.

“The whole aspect of head injuries in football is an important one which is why we’ve brought in concussion substitutes.

“For me, it’s an admin thing so it’s nothing to do with the referee. But if you’re a referee you’ll certainly keep an eye on that player. As you do, when they have an injury or knock of that type.

“Hopefully, today, Aston Villa will be revisiting their process and procedures. This is not a criticism, it’s just a matter of their policy.

“This is outside the hands of the playing side of the game. It’s a health and safety issue.

“I thought it was interesting, he was allowed to come back on and the player is always going to say they want to come back on. It’s like boxing when you get a cut eye and there’s a point where the doctor determines and not the match referee that the fight is over. It has to be the same in football.

“It surprised me that he was allowed back on and then was having dizzy spells and was allowed back on. In fairness to Villa, they were clearly monitoring it.

“There was sufficient signals to say ‘Could he have come off earlier?’ That’s what they have to ask.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed “MPs were wined and dined” as Aston Villa announce an “insidious” new deal.