In-form Aston Villa midfielder Charles N'Zogbia earns Jores Okore's plaudits

The Danish defender has been more than impressed with his teammate's contributions to the club's mini revival under Tim Sherwood.

Aston Villa defender Jores Okore has hailed Charles N’Zogbia’s recent performances, telling the club’s official website that his resurgent teammate is a “game-changer”.

N’Zogbia, 28, missed the entire 2013-14 campaign with an Achilles problem had had been expected to leave the club in the summer, along with fellow “Bomb Squad” members Darren Bent and Alan Hutton.

While the trio were granted a reprieve, the creative midfielder failed to make the most of his second chance under the since-departed Paul Lambert and fell out of first-team contention in the months leading up to the Scot’s sacking after 17 unproductive appearances.

He has since been welcomed back into Tim Sherwood’s side, however, and impressed in three consecutive starts, showing flashes of the form which earned him a £9.5 million move from Wigan Athletic in 2011.

The Frenchman’s performance in the weekend’s 4-0 win at Sunderland, in particular, served to suggest that he has turned a corner since Sherwood’s arrival and Okore believes that both his skill and experience will prove crucial ingredients in the club’s battle to avoid the drop.

"Charles is a game-changer, a match-winner. He can create a lot of chances in games,” the Danish defender said. "He is an experienced player. He has played a lot of games in the Premier League. He was out of the team but now he's back in and showing what he can do.

"He doesn't always have the last touch on the ball for the goal but you can guarantee it will be the second or third last touch on the ball.

"He also has no fear whatsoever. He will keep trying to beat his man. He won't be put off if his man has won the ball off him. When Charles get the ball again, he will go at his man again and again, trying to get past him and create something."

Having missed most of last season himself with a ruptured cruciate ligament, Okore also appreciates that it takes time to get back up to full speed after such a long absence.

"It's very hard to come off an injury. I know the difficulty,” he added. "It's hard to get to the same level very quickly but now he's coming back to his very best. Hopefully he can continue."

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