By support

17th Aug, 2016 | 8:59am

Tony Xia backs struggling Aston Villa first-teamer to learn and become great

By Dominic Toner

Tony Xia has given his full support to goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini in the wake of his costly error in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw against Huddersfield.

Villa went ahead in the game through an early Ross McCormack strike and were just minutes away from victory when Huddersfield struck back to end Villa’s hopes of a second consecutive win.

Michael Hefele chased down a long ball forward and as Villa goalkeeper Gollini came out to clear, he smashed the ball against Hefele and watched on as the ball bounced into his empty net to level the score.

Villa owner and chairman Xia has offered his support to the summer signing on his personal Twitter account and claimed he “will learn” and “can grow to be the great keeper”.

Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee was not so supportive of Gollini and criticised the Italian for his crucial mistake.

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The 21-year-old alsi made a key mistake in the opening day 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, as his poor clearance was pounced on by Fernando Forestieri to score a late winner.

Gollini move to Villa this summer from Italian side Hellas Verona after previously being at Manchester United’s academy.

The 21-year-old joined Villa for £4.1million and has struggled to adjust to the Championship, under the guidance of new manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The youngster currently holds the number one spot over Mark Bunn and Jed Steer but will need to improve his performances rapidly to cement his place in the starting 11.

In other Aston Villa team news, their senior player was named in the Football League team of the week.