Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne could be out for a month after injuring his shoulder during the home defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

Villa are now just seven points off the relegation zone and manager Alex McLeish's woes were compounded when centre-back Dunne seemingly dislocated his right shoulder.

With Ciaran Clark is also out for a period of time after damaging knee ligaments in training on Saturday.

McLeish added: "We've a specialist in looking at him (Dunne).

"I'm not sure what is going to happen with the big 'un, whether he is going to go to hospital tonight or whatever, or what they do when a shoulder is dislocated, whether they stick it back in.

"I can't give you an answer just now, but I do believe he is going to be out for at least a month, so that's serious enough."

Centre-back Joleon Lescott's 63rd-minute strike was enough to send City back to the top of the Premier League in a game they largely dominated until the closing few minutes.

After barely conjuring a chance worthy of the name for 88 minutes, Villa should have levelled, only for Carlos Cuellar to plant a free header over the bar while Joe Hart pulled off a stunning save to deny Darren Bent.

"I thought the game plan was excellent but the players were unlucky," added McLeish. "We're getting a lot of luck at the moment but it's all bad.

"The Villa fans stayed right behind us for the entire game and I thought we were very unlucky not to get anything.

"We must stop the errors - we had one lapse in concentration but we are playing a side vying with Manchester United for the title.

"Our home record is pretty abysmal. I'm disappointed with that because I pride myself in my managerial career with home performances and the current one isn't good enough."

McLeish was the subject of a protest before kick off.

It was a low-key affair attended by around 100 or so fans, with more looking on, mainly with amusement.

There were a few banners such as 'Had Your Chance McLeish Out' and a few chants along the lines of 'You'll be sacked in the morning'.