Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has admitted midfielder Birkir Bjarnason could face time on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.

The Midlands outfit were left frustrated after not taking their chances against the London outfit and slumping to a loss that leaves them with ground to make up in the race for the playoffs.

Bjarnason was replaced by the Villa boss, who has admitted that losing the Iceland international caused disruptions to the Birmingham-based outfit’s play.

“He felt his groin so he had to come off,” Smith told the club’s official website.

“You look at Tuesday where Tammy and Albert come off and they score and it happened tonight with BB.”

The disappointing result leaves Villa in 16th place in the Championship table, with the six-point gap to the top six set to potential expand as Saturday’s fixtures take place.

Despite the loss, Smith looked to stay positive and said that his side put in a strong performance – praising both John McGinn and Jack Grealish in particular.

“I’m downhearted about the result because I want to climb the league but I saw a lot of pluses in the game – our structure was very good, we passed the ball very well, John McGinn made some good runs forward, Jack Grealish has got in the box and had numerous opportunities,” the Villa boss continued.

“It was unfortunately one of those days where it didn’t quite happen.”

Villa supporters will hope that the players start to gel in the promotion push, with a change in manager designed to lead to an upturn in fortunes.

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