Aston Villa star John McGinn is walking a four-match tightrope which could wreck his play-off dreams.

The Scotland international midfielder picked up his 13th booking of the season midway through the first half of Saturday’s crucial 2-1 win over Bristol City.

McGinn has played an instrumental part in the astonishing eight-match win run which has seen Villa storm into the play-off positions.

He’s already served a ban for hitting 10 but two more before the end of the season would see him banned for a further three games and rule him out of any Wembley involvement.

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Yellow cards have become an occupational hazard for McGinn – he picked up 18 last season when he was at Hibs.



McGinn must now tread carefully

Villa travel to Bolton on Friday looking to equal a club record nine wins on the spin set up in 1910.

McGinn said: “That’s the aim, if you’d asked us a couple of months ago whether we’d be in the play-off spots, we’d have laughed at you.

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“But we’ve shown great form and now we’re in there.

“We matched a record number of wins but we weren’t really thinking about it. We’ve given ourselves a great chance and we need to capitalise on it.”

Manager Dean Smith says Villa need to clinch fifth spot to enhance their promotion chances.



Villa are bang in form – but don’t want to lose a key player



Manager Dean Smith is desperate to take them back to the top flight

“That’s important, we want it to be in our hands,” he told the club’s website.

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“We’ll have a few days off now and then start concentrating on Easter weekend.

“I’ve certainly got some problems picking a team for that one! We’re in a good position and personally I’m delighted with eight on the spin.

“I’d love to do nine, and it’s the aim. The players would love to as well.

“They’ve got the bit between their teeth at the moment and they’ll keep pushing.”

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