Aston Villa midifelder Charles N'Zogbia reveals Tim Sherwood's simple trick to getting him back in form

Charles N'Zogbia

It didn't take much for the Villa boss to inspire a turnaround in the polarising Frenchman.

Tim Sherwood’s secret to getting Charles N’Zogbia firing again was just to tell him to train harder, the midfielder himself has told AVTV.

After missing the whole of last season with an Achilles problem, N’Zogbia was expected to leave Aston Villa in the summer but was instead granted a reprieve along with fellow “Bomb Squad” members Darren Bent and Alan Hutton.

The Frenchman failed to make the most of his second chance, however, and fell out of first-team contention in the months leading up to Paul Lambert’s sacking following 17 lacklustre appearances.

He has been welcomed back into the side since Sherwood’s arrival, though, and managed to impress in six starts and three substitute outings, flashing some of the form which saw former manager Alex McLeish fork out £9.5 million for his signature in 2011.

The former Wigan Athletic man insists there is no great secret to his recent turnaround, however, other than knuckling down on the training ground in a bid to impress the new boss.

“He just told me to keep training as hard as I can,” said N’Zogbia. “He told me to take some time to do some extra training, make sure I’m enjoying my football and one day I’d be back playing.

“That’s all I wanted. I’ve just kept working hard, hoping that one day I’d eventually start and that’s what happened.”

With Villa now having four games left to secure their Premier League status ahead of the FA Cup final, N’Zogbia is hoping to use the experience of Wigan’s 2010-11 escape, when he bagged four goals in the final four matches to help keep them up, to ensure that Villa also steer clear of the drop.

“All I want to do now is play and make sure that we stay up,” he added. “The cup is going to be an extra incentive but right now we need to make sure that we stay up.

“The next four games are vital for us and we need to work for it.”

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