By Matt Farr
Aston Villa legend Paul McGrath has praised striker Jonathan Kodjia for his integrity after his criticism of the player on Twitter.
McGrath had initially hit out at the Ivory Coast international on Twitter following Aston Villa’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, criticising his poor work-rate during the game.
Sorry Aston Villa even if he scores four Kodjia is the Villian work rate is nil should have said it the other night dam Horgan is a player
— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) February 4, 2017
However, he later issued the 27-year-old goalscorer an apology, seeking forgiveness for his earlier outburst. He said that he only criticised the player because he cared for the club.
Apologies to Aston Villa supporters and our goal scorer Kodjia , in my defence I'm saddened at where we find ourselves. Only because I care.
— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) February 5, 2017
A humble Kodjia responded to the criticism on his own Twitter account on Monday, insisting that McGrath had no reason to apologise.
No need 2 apologise God, u'r a legend of the club & won the right 2 be entitled 2 express your opinion in everything 2 do with@AVFCOfficial https://t.co/I3dNU5EsGj
— Jonathan Kodjia (@J_Kodjia) February 6, 2017
Now McGrath has sought to douse the flames he had earlier ignited by praising the striker for his integrity and handling of his criticism, on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday morning.
— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) February 7, 2017
The former Aston Villa defender also urged Kodjia to go out and express himself on the pitch, and prove himself to be the team player that he knew he could be.
In a below-par season for the Midlands club, Kodjia has been one of the few standout performers. Steve Bruce’s side have struggled in front of goal this term, and if it wasn’t for his chief goalscorer, may be much worse off than 14th in the Championship.
The ex-Bristol City striker has netted 10 goals from 25 appearances this term, and is one of only six goalscorers this season that are currently available to Bruce. Three of them have only scored once.
In other Aston Villa news, Carlos Sanchez has delivered an honest assessment of his time at the club.