McGinn is expected to play for the first time since December, when Villa will face Sheffield United at Villa Park on Wednesday night.
This will be a huge boost for the team of Dean Smith, who has missed the player of 25 years during his absence with an ankle injury.
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And it also proves how McGinn has become indispensable since moving from Hibernian in 2018.
“With Jack Grealish, it was probably the player of Aston Villa this season,” said Neil on BBC Scotland.
“It is probably the one who should be your model if you are a young player in Scotland.
“This is the state of mind of the players that go down.
“I’ve played with the two Jameses [McCarthy and McArthur] in Hamilton and the success they had, if you had said at the time, would they have had? I would not have been safe to say ” definitely “.
“But what they have is an insatiable desire to succeed. And I think that John has understood.
“You can have good players who can come in here and get lost. ”
As for McGinn, the midfielder is eager to play again – even if it is behind closed doors.
When asked if he was the type to feed off of the crowd, McGinn said: “If you ask my teammates, they’ll say I need a crowd to play to my best level.
“In the back of your head, even if there will be no fans – especially our first match against Sheffield United – it is that this will probably be one of the games the most watched in the world.
“This is the first game since the end of the lock, at 18h on Sky. So, even if it is behind closed doors, you will feel still the intensity and the pressure to play.
“It will be always different than training, so I hope that I will be able to use it to do the same. Sometimes, when you’re focused on the game that you do not hear, you smother the noise. ”