Tim Sherwood has high praise for Aston Villa left-back Kieran Richardson

Aston Villa utility man Kieran Richardson has impressed since Tim Sherwood took charge.

Tim Sherwood has reserved high praise for Kieran Richardson on Aston Villa's official club website.

Richardson has been a mainstay in the team since Sherwood inherited the managerial reins at Villa Park, and the 46-year-old has been impressed by the utility man's performances.

He says that Richardson and Leandro Bacuna, who have generally been utilised as the two full-backs in Villa's starting line-up, have been integral to his side’s success, with their forward-thinking qualities shining through.

"He's (Richardson) been outstanding," said Sherwood. "He gives us that balance - that pace. He's only played left-back for me and that's where I see him to be honest. He could do the one in front but we're not playing with any width there. The width comes from our full-backs.

"Him and Leandro Bacuna have been vital to what we've been doing. I think Kieran needs to keep himself fit first and foremost. If he does that then he's everything I look for in that player."

Richardson's versatility has worked against him in recent years, as he never found a settled position, so Sherwood's preference of keeping him at left-back should be pleasing.

Richardson has excellent pace and boundless energy, which means that he fits in well with the tactics currently being used by Villa.

The Claret and Blues have been given large amounts of freedom to get forward and Richardson has excelled in the system.

It will now be up to the former Fulham man to continue to impress, as Villa look to avoid the drop and finish the season strongly.

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