Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has praised Stephen Ireland, who is set to be recalled to the starting XI, for his improved work-rate.
Ireland has been on the bench for Villa's last two Premier League games, with his most recent start coming out wide in the away loss to Newcastle.
However, Robbie Keane's return to LA Galaxy has opened the door for the midfielder to return to his favoured central role for Saturday's clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park.
McLeish has been impressed with the 25-year-old's desire to put in the hard yards, something he feels the player has not been so keen to do in the past.
"Stevie Ireland has captivated the fans with not only his skill but his industry and I think that had been missing from his game before," the Aston Villa boss told The Express and Star
"I always believe that, if players can show that side of it, then their quality comes through and the cream rises to the top, as they say. Stevie has been there or thereabouts in recent weeks.
"He probably hasn't been as happy in the other positions that we have played him in at times, like out wide at Newcastle.
"But I still believe that he's good enough to play in these positions."
Ireland has hinted at a possible return to international football in the near future - he won the last of his six caps for the Republic of Ireland back in 2007.
McLeish believes the former Manchester City player is now much more comfortable with life at Villa Park after a disappointing debut campaign that included him being loaned out to top-flight rivals Newcastle.
The Scot added: "I hope so, we have got to believe that that's the case and that Stevie shows everybody what he's capable of."