Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

The “unbelievable” fixture schedule for Aston Villa and Scotland has taken its toll on John McGinn, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admitted the midfielder was not as his best against Brighton and pointed at the vast amount of minutes played in recent weeks as the reason why.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 defeat to the Seagulls to keep up his record of being an ever-present in the Premier League this season.

He also started all three games for Scotland over the international break as Steve Clarke’s men secured qualification to next summer’s European Championships but failed to seal promotion in their Nations League group.

Having watched his countryman in action for both club and country, Hutton admitted the amount of game time looks to have hampered his old teammate.

Asked if he thought McGinn’s international exploits had taken their toll, Hutton told Football Insider: Yeah, of course it did.

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“He’s obviously played a lot of football over the course of the season and then to have to play three international games and then come back late during the week to play another Premier League game is difficult.

“He was always going to play that game, he was always going to say he was fit enough to play but you could tell his legs were probably tired, his mind was tired. He gave the ball away a couple of times and it wasn’t his best performance but fair play to him, he stood up to be counted and he charged on, did everything he possibly could.

“The schedule is just unbelievable at the moment and it’s only going to get worse so I do feel for them, it’s gonna get harder but it is what it is, everyone’s kind of in the same boat at the moment.”

McGinn played 83 minutes in Scotland’s European qualifying win over Serbia, while he went on to feature for 90 and 62 minutes against Slovakia and Israel respectively last week.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has been left gutted by “devastating” blow for Dean Smith.