KODJIA SALUTES VILLA’S FANS ON RETURN
HITMAN Jonathan Kodjia is desperate to contribute to the Aston Villa cause now his injury nightmare is finally over.
The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international broke his ankle in the penultimate game of last season, against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, and was forced to spend five months in rehab while the rest of his teammates prepared for the current campaign.
Kodjia, who joined Villa form Bristol City for a potential £15m in August last year, returned to action as a late substitute against Middlesbrough this month and claims the messages of encouragement from the Villa Park faithful helped him through the darkest days of his enforced sabbatical.
“The game at Blackburn was a very bad moment for me. The injury was very difficult for me to take,” said Kodjia. “Thankfully, it’s finished now. Now it’s time to push on.
“The fans helped me so much. They sent me messages every day on social media. That inspired me.
“It’s not easy coming back from injury. It’s hard work every day, but the supporters kept me going. Their messages pushed me forward.
“I think one of the hardest moments for me was seeing the lads start the season and not being able to help – that’s tough. Now I just want to play. I am so determined to come in and help the team.
“It was so good to put the Villa shirt on again. It made me smile.”
Kodjia, who hit 22 goals last season, says he won’t fall into the trap of rushing his efforts to rediscover his match sharpness.
He added: “I just need a bit of patience now, some time, before I am up to my very top level.
“As I get fitter, I will get stronger and that’s when you will see the best of me.”
HUNGRY: Jonathan Kodjia