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Ivory Coast's Kodjia makes decisive impact in Aston Villa's historic feat

09:26 IST 23/04/2019
Jonathan Kodjia
In the first half the 29-year-old met Anwar El Ghazi's low cross to inspire a record 10th successive win for Villa

Coach Dean Smith hailed all his players after Jonathan Kodjia's contribution sealed Aston Villa’s historic feat.

The striker started Easter Monday's clash against Millwall, on the back of his match-winning impact against Rotherham United.

Kodjia’s strike in the 30th minute won a historic 10th successive game for the Villains, who ran out 1-0 victors at Villa Park.

“Yes, it’s very pleasing," answered Aston Villa coach Smith when directly asked about Kodjia's impact.

“I said to the players this morning that I was walking my dog and I wasn’t sure how we’d won nine on the spin and thought ‘are we on to a good thing?’  

"Then we came in on Saturday morning and 12 players who hadn’t played on Friday trained – and the training session was outstanding.

“I have players knocking on my door because they’re not happy that they’re not playing. We have really competitive, small-sided games the day before games with players nose to nose at times.

“They are taking ownership of their own debrief meetings. When you’ve got that, you’re on to something.  

“I said to the lads before the game ‘you’ve set your standards and raised the bar, you need to keep that’. That’s why we’ve got 10 wins on the spin.”

Kodjia's winning goal against Millwall was his eighth in 37 league games this season.

With Tammy Abraham expected to sit out their trip to Leeds United due to a shoulder injury, Kodija is set to continue leading the attack.

On the international scene, his Ivory Coast side will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations this summer.

The Elephants find themselves in Group D alongside Morocco, South Africa and Namibia.