Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is adamant Charles N'Zogbia will regain his match-winning form soon - but he hopes it is after his return to the DW Stadium on Saturday.
The French winger left Wigan for Aston Villa in a £9.5million move in the summer, but has failed to hit the heights of his time under Martinez.
And with the Latics bottom of the division and facing a tough fight for their Premier League survival, Martinez will hope a return to the ground where he shone will not inspire a vintage performance from the talented N'Zogbia.
"It happens when you move from one club to another, sometimes you take a bit of time to settle in," he said.
"What is clear is the class of Charles is permanent and he is a special player.
"We have great memories of him as a Wigan player and I hope he keeps those memories for the rest of his career.
"But Saturday is about two teams who really need points and from our perspective is a crucial game. We have seven games left at home and the start of that is vital.
"Any individual issues will be in the background, I don't think many people will focus on that bearing in mind it is such an important game."
Villa have troubles of their own and find themselves being drawn ever closer to the drop zone following a poor run of results and Martinez is wary of their need to put distance between themselves and the other teams at the bottom.
"This is the worst moment of their season in terms of results," added the Latics boss. "They should have more points than they have now so they are in an unrealistic position.
"In many ways it is the wrong time to play them because they have a real need for points and they will look at the Wigan game as one they have to win.
"That could put a lot of ground between them and the bottom five clubs but we are in a position where we cannot afford to look at the opposition."