Why Hourihane did not play…

VILLA boss Dean Smith revealed why Conor Hourihane missed the victory over Middlesbrough.

When the Irishman was not even named on the bench before kick off, it was thought he was injured.

But Smith explained that Hourihane’s reason was far more personal – and left him in no state to play.

Smith told reporters: “Conor’s partner had a baby last night at 11pm.

“He under-estimated the first baby and how long it could take, plus the emotional stress you can go through.

“He was there helping his partner which is why he wasn’t here.

Everything has gone well which was pleasing but he couldn’t make it for the game.”

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