Villa defender Stephen Warnock today declared himself fit for derby-day combat – and called for calm heads in the white-hot atmosphere which awaits on Sunday.
The left-back had emerged as a doubt for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Birmingham clash after soldiering through Wednesday’s win at Hull with an ankle problem.
But he has handed Martin O’Neill’s top-four hopefuls a major boost by confirming he is primed for battle.
“I’m fine, I took a couple of whacks but nothing out of the ordinary so I’m fit and ready,” said Warnock.
“I’ve got a black eye because I got an elbow to the face and I got a kick on the ankle but it’s not a problem at all. It’s just part and parcel of the game and you’ve just got to get on with it.”