Carroll hails the Villa ‘monster’

VILLA midfielder Tom Carroll reckons keeper Lovre Kalinic is a ‘monster’.

Carroll says the Croatia keeper could be a key figure for Villa between now and the end of the season.

Kalinic is challenging for a recall at Blues on Sunday after recovering from the concussion he suffered during the recent defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

The 28-year-old confirmed on Wednesday that he is back in training ahead of the short trip to St Andrew’s.

And Swansea loanee Carroll, speaking to Villa’s official website, said: “Lovre’s a good character. He’s a big monster. 

“He’s a great guy in the dressing room – and a commanding presence out there on the pitch. I’m sure he’ll only improve, too.”

Carroll, 26, who has made two appearances for Villa as a substitute so far, talked about the other players he arrived at the club with in January.

He added: “I sit near Kortney Hause in the dressing room. He’s a top lad. He’s getting better and better in every game so far.

“Tyrone Mings a leader – a big character and huge presence.

“He’s done very well. He’s been commanding at the back and he even chipped in with a goal at the other end too when we came back against Sheffield United.”

But Carroll’s focus is on Sunday’s derby against Birmingham.

He said: “It’s going to be a massive occasion – a match that, as a footballer, you relish being involved in. I can’t wait.

“I know it’s the talk of the city before, during and after the match. 

“We had a good result at Villa Park earlier in the season but they’ve had a good run and are flying high in the table. 

“For the derby element and where the two clubs are in the table, it’s clearly an exciting, big game to look forward to.”

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