Belfast Telegraph

McLeish backs N'Zogbia to shine

Alex McLeish believes winger Charles N'Zogbia will be ready to kick-start his Aston Villa career when he faces his former club Wigan at Villa Park on Saturday.

McLeish paid £9.5 million to sign the French international during the summer after the sale of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing respectively to Manchester United and Liverpool.

N'Zogbia has only shown flashes of his best form but McLeish feels a reunion with his former team-mates could be the catalyst for him to return to the top of his game, and he said: "If selected, I would expect Charles to shine and show his old team-mates what they are missing."

He added: "They know, and we know, what he is capable of. What's eluding Charles at the moment is just that final ball. It's just the final thing. He is snatching at shots and maybe trying to overcook a pass when he should keep it simple. He's been maybe trying too hard sometimes.

"Charles has been energetic and you have to give him credit for working for the team as well, as you saw against QPR. I know that some wingers don't like running back."

Villa are still unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League but McLeish admits to being frustrated at dropped points against the likes of Newcastle and QPR.

He insists Villa are still a work in progress after the exodus of several experienced players during the summer.

He said: "I'm a bit frustrated because the start could have been even better. But I am sure it will come in time and the players are gelling together. It is not an overnight job when you had the decimation (of the squad) we suffered in the summer.

"We have lost a lot of players, with Downing and Young going, and we are trying to rebuild a bit with some good young players and one or two signings.

"It is a building process, we are a work in progress. It is a brand new dawn and we are looking for our creative players to do the business for us."


From Belfast Telegraph