By Amir Mir

Nigel Spink has stated that he is “prepared” to give Aston Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone time to prove himself.

The on-loan Manchester United shot-stopper made a costly mistake against Nottingham Forest at the weekend which resulted in his team losing the contest 2-1.

Steve Bruce’s side were winning the match 1-0 before Johnstone failed to keep hold of a long-range effort which was bundled in by Britt Assombalonga just before the break.

Forest went on to win the Championship match in stoppage time as it was the second time in many weeks that Johnstone has made an error.

Despite this, legendary Villa goalkeeper Spink backed the youngster to perform and gave an honest assessment on his mistake.

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“I’ve got time for this lad,” Spink told BBC Radio West Midlands. “I think he will be a decent goalkeeper, he should have dealt with the first goal, but he is an honest lad. I’m prepared to give him time.”

Johnstone has played five games in all competitions for Villa since making a January move from Old Trafford, conceding ten goals as he is yet to keep a clean sheet.

The former Preston man was at fault when Wolves claimed a 1-0 win over their Midlands rivals in early January when he failed to deal with a simple cross.

Bruce’s side have yet to win a game in 2017, losing five matches in all competitions with their last win coming against Burton on Boxing Day.

Johnstone will be hoping his team can pick up all three points and secure their first clean sheet since a 1-0 win at QPR in mid-December when they take on Ipswich this Saturday.

In other Aston Villa news, why this underrated ace can solve Steve Bruce’s problems.

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