Britain Football Soccer - Aston Villa v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Villa Park - 29/12/16 Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia looks dejected after missing a chance to score Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Jason Cairnduff Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

By Amir Mir

Paul McGrath has issued an apology to Aston Villa ace Jonathan Kodjia after he criticised him following the 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.

Club legend McGrath slated the striker’s work rate during the game and urged him to work harder for the team.

However, the former centre-back has now expressed that he is just “saddened” by Villa’s current position hence the criticism of their star player.

During the game against Forest, Kodjia opened the scoring in the first half with a magnificent curling effort.

However, teenager Ben Brereton scored an injury time winner for the home team to help Gary Brazil’s side record a much-needed three points.

This was McGrath’s message to supporters and to Kodjia after his criticism of the striker as posted on his personal Twitter account.

“Apologies to Aston Villa supporters and our goalscorer Kodjia,” said McGrath. “In my defence, I’m saddened at where we find ourselves and it’s only because I care.”

The Ivory Coast international has scored ten goals for Villa this season since making a big-money move from Championship rivals Bristol City in the summer.

Despite his goal on Saturday, Steve Bruce’s side fell to yet another defeat in 2017 as they moved further away from the top six in the Championship.

This was the only the second game that Kodjia has started for Villa since the turn of the year as he was taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations for a good part of January.

Now, he will be looking to build a strong partnership with the club’s new attacking addition Scott Hogan, who started the game against Forest.

In other Aston Villa news, supporters on Twitter deliver their verdict on Steve Bruce’s future after Forest loss.

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