Sherwood backs N’Zogbia rise

Sherwood says Aston Villa are already starting to reap the benefit of extra work on the training ground by N’Zogbia.

And Sherwood has been pleased with the former Newcastle and Wigan winger’s approach since his appointment as manager.

Sherwood began his time at Villa with Premier League defeats to Stoke and Newcastle, before league and FA Cup victories over West Brom.

And Frenchman N’Zogbia started for Villa in both wins over their west Midlands rivals.

“Charles has done well,” said Sherwood. “I spoke to him after the Newcastle game and I just said to him ‘I’ve got a long memory, I know how good you were in the team at Wigan’.

“I know what he possesses and I know how scared opposing managers are when he’s playing.

“If he gets himself flying, he can be anything he wants to be. I really mean that.

“He needs to keep getting himself fit. I told him he needs to be a little bit fitter and he needs to do a little bit extra than the other players and he said ‘no problem’.

“He’s doing running, he’s on the bench, he’s a grafter.

“He gets rewarded for that, as will anyone who wants to go and prove to me that they’re willing to go and pick up the baton and take on the fight like Charles N’Zogbia.

“The biggest attribute that he’s got is that he will go and play in front of anyone and he will do his best.

“I’ll take him at face value and he hasn’t let me down yet.

“He knows – I’ve told him straight – get yourself fit and you’re one of the best players we’ve got in the team. You can affect a football match. I think he’s got goals in him too.”

Villa, three points above the relegation zone, next face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League on Saturday.