Martin O'Neill has reassured Shaun Maloney that the midfielder has a role to play at Aston Villa.
Maloney has struggled to become a fixture in the Villa side since joining the club from Celtic in January 2007.
He had been experiencing his best run in the first team in recent weeks, but has been left out of Villa's last three matches.
His absence has coincided with Villa embarking on a goalscoring spree following 15 goals in three emphatic victories.
However, Villa boss O'Neill insists that Maloney remains a key part of his plans at the club and that the Scotland international has just been rested.
"Shaun Maloney has still got a part to play, absolutely no question," said O'Neill.
"What's happened is that we've changed it around a little in the past two or three games so we've got a bit more strength in the middle of the park.
"But Shaun can play a number of positions and he's basically just had a rest for the past two or three weeks."