Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Noel Whelan admits he felt sorry for Aston Villa defender Matty Cash after he was “ran ragged” by Leeds United on Friday night.

The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan of the Whites, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims that Jack Harrison and Ezgjan Alioski nullified the 23-year-old with their performances down the left-hand flank.

A hat-trick from Patrick Bamford secured a 3-0 win for Marcelo Bielsa’s men and condemned Villa to their first defeat of the new Premier League season.

 

Whelan insists that the Whites found a lot of joy down the left wing and that Cash was tormented by the energy levels of both Harrison and Alioski.

Whelan told Football Insider: “I can’t remember one game where I’ve not seen Matty Cash get into the final third.

“Last night he got nowhere near and he was scared to go forward because of what Alioski and Harrison were doing to him. I mean he must have slept so well last night because I don’t think he’s been ran ragged like that for a long, long time.

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“I felt sorry for him at some stages, I really did, because everything was coming down that left-hand side, he had to do the right thing which was tuck in.

“The space Harrison was getting and Alioski, the energy getting round him, Matty Cash had absolutely no answers and we really took him to the cleaners down that left-hand side.” 

Cash, a summer signing from Nottingham Forest, has been an ever-present for Villa in the league this season.

Dean Smith also has the likes of Frederic Guilbert and Ahmed Elmohamedy to call upon at right-back.

In other Aston Villa news, Alex McLeish claims “agents are working” to get senior star out of the club.