Tim Sherwood discusses Carles Gil's absence from the Aston Villa line-up

The claret and blue boss stresses that the Spanish midfielder has to earn his spot in the side.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the Telegraph that Carles Gil will have to prove himself on the training ground in order to earn a place in the starting XI.

Gil, 22, arrived during the winter transfer window from Valencia for £3.25 million and made an immediate impact under the since-departed Paul Lambert, netting a stunning full debut goal in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Bournemouth.

While his introduction failed to save Lambert’s job, as the club tasted defeat in each of his first five Premier League appearances, the Spanish midfielder still showed the attacking spark to suggest he was set to prove a vital contributor in the club’s bid to avoid the drop.

Nevertheless, after lasting less than hour before being taken off in Sherwood’s first game in charge against Stoke, Gil has since seen just one minute of action over the past three matches, as fellow new arrival Scott Sinclair and the resurgent Charles N’Zogbia have both been preferred.

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal Take-onsTake-on SuccessAppearancesMins Played
Carles Gil MF Aston Villa 0 1 6 89% 33 15% 26 69% 5 359
Scott Sinclair MF Aston Villa / Man City 1 0 1 81% 4 0% 7 30% 7 258
Charles N'Zogbia MF Aston Villa 0 1 11 81% 20 20% 28 31% 18 883

Despite consecutive wins over Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion, fans would still like to see the Under-21 international more involved over the coming weeks, but Sherwood insists he must earn his spot in the side.

“I preferred someone else, it’s up to Carles to prove on the training field he warrants a place,” he said.

“Everyone up for selection and has a chance to play until the end of the season. It’s my choice who plays and doesn’t. Everyone has to remember I am picking team to win a game but it’s nothing personal.

“I think what you will find with the way I manage is that I am honest with them. They are not left out because I don't like them.

“I used to hate managers telling me I am not playing because of this and that,” he added. “We’re assessing everyone to see what we need to do.

"I think Aston Villa are more capable of challenging towards the top half but we’re not in that situation. Who is best equipped to get out of a relegation battle? That is something I am still trying to decide."

Having promised a great deal during his first few weeks at Villa Park, it seems strange that Gil now finds himself struggling for first-team opportunities but, as long as the team’s upturn in form continues, then there’s little reason to argue against Sherwood’s decision to leave him out.

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