N'Zogbia earns Petrov praise

Villa winger backed to go from strength to strength

Charles N'Zogbia: Scored against Blackburn and tipped to keep improving by Stiliyan Petrov

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Stiliyan Petrov believes Charles N'Zogbia is starting to fulfil his potential after a difficult start to life at Aston Villa.

The Frenchman joined the club in a big-money deal from Wigan last summer but he initially struggled to show his best form.

He announced last month that he was not enjoying his football for the first time in his career, leading to suggestions that he might never show what he was capable of at Villa.

However, after being challenged by manager Alex McLeish to raise his level of performance, there have been signs of improvement in recent weeks.

N'Zogbia scored in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Blackburn and Petrov now expects him to go from strength to strength and become a key player for Villa.

The Bulgarian said: "He is motivated to show what he's all about.

Frustrating

"He went through a tough period. Now he has started to get back into position and has scored a goal, which is good for us.

"We know what kind of lad he is. It has been frustrating for him that he couldn't show what he can do. But now he can."

McLeish hopes the likes of N'Zogbia and Stephen Ireland will continue to perform well after seeing Robbie Keane go back to Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of his loan spell.

He said: "We lost Robbie Keane and he was a goalscorer and could link midfield to attack.

"Now Charles and Stevie have to score goals."