McLeish - Every week a final

Villa boss praises Weimann after stunning goal from striker

Alex McLeish: Aston Villa manager could not fault his players' efforts after the 1-1 draw with Stoke

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Alex McLeish admits every game is a 'cup final' for Aston Villa following Monday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City which extended a disappointing run of form at home.

Andreas Weimann's excellent first-half goal was cancelled out by Robert Huth's header for Stoke to ensure Villa have now won just one of their last 10 Premier League home games.

Villa are also still battling to retain their top-flight status and the stalemate lifted McLeish's side seven points clear of the relegation zone with six matches left to play.

McLeish could not fault the effort of his players against Stoke, but conceded there was a lack of quality about his inexperienced side.

Battle

"We gained some ground and we would have loved the three points," McLeish told Sky Sports. "It's a cup final every week for this club.

"If the players battle like they did today from start to finish then they'll get some breaks.

"I couldn't fault any man at all for the effort they gave. Sometimes the quality can be the only thing that's missing, but at least the effort was top drawer."

The Villa boss also praised Austrian striker Weimann, saying: "Goals talk and it will be hard for me to leave Weimann out.

"It was a fantastic strike. We needed a bit of inspiration at that time and it was inspirational.

"It came out of nothing and was a wonderful goal from a great young prospect. He is a good finisher and we've seen it again with that goal."

Villa midfielder Chris Herd was taken to hospital after suffering a knock to the head in a clash with Huth and James Collins.

McLeish said: "He felt sick after the game and has gone to hospital for a check-up but wasn't unconscious so hopefully there is no concussion."