Aston Villa left-back Aly Cissokho has warned Premier League rivals that he’s ready to take on more attacking responsibilities following a tough run of fixtures.
Cissokho, 27, and his right-sided counterpart Alan Hutton have found their opportunities to get forward restricted in recent weeks, with Paul Lambert’s side tasked with facing top-four finishers Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively, in successive league games.
A shock 1-0 win at Anfield was followed by three straight defeats, in which the Frenchman and his teammates were forced to sit back and absorb pressure for long spells, but, with a trip to Everton on the weekend, he stresses that changes are afoot.
‘I think the games will be more open as we go forward,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
‘Against Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City it is very hard to have the ball. You don’t have as many opportunities to attack.
‘For me there will be a time where I can get forward more. In the last few games I have had to defend more than the other games because it’s harder to play against those big teams.
‘The next games will be more open and we will be able to attack and try to give some good football to the fans.’
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Joining from Valencia in August for around £2.5 million, Cissokho spent the previous season on loan in the English top-flight with Liverpool but made just 19 total appearances while struggling with injuries, before returning to La Liga having made little impression.
Nevertheless, having once been a high-profile target for AC Milan, the one-time capped international developed a reputation at previous clubs Lyon and Porto as a forward-thinking full-back, and now wants to show Villa fans his full repertoire of skills.
‘I am very happy because I’m playing. It’s what all footballers want,’ he said. ‘I didn’t play a lot with Liverpool last year so I was very happy to come to Villa.
‘It was important for me to play a lot more this season. Also I think in the first four games it was important for me to show the fans what I can do.
‘We went on a good run and I think that I showed I could play well at left-back. We started well but for the lads it has been very tough in recent weeks. We have already shown we can win, though.
‘The next game is Everton and we will give it a great shot.’