Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish believes the best is still to come from winger Charles N’Zogbia but insists there are no problems with their relationship.
N’Zogbia took exception to comments made by McLeish after a game where he was quoted as saying the former Wigan player preferred cars to playing football.
But the misunderstanding has been resolved and N’Zogbia has recently shown some of his best form since his £9m summer move to Villa.
When asked about his relationship with the player, McLeish said: “Listen, I’m quite a laid-back manager. If the players are doing it for me on the pitch, then it’s not a problem.
“They will get in the side, it’s as simple as that. I was supposed to have said something about Charles spending money on fast cars. I’ve no reason to single Charles out for that and I told him that. I was talking about players in general.
“Charles realises that now. It was after the Bolton game when I was really pleased with the performance and I was doing a rallying cry to all the players to be winners.
“I said ’think about being a winner first before you reward yourself with a fast car’. I’m like Charles, definitely. If I had the money in my day that these guys are earning, I’d have had fast cars because I love fast cars.”
In terms of N’Zogbia’s performances, McLeish said: “I think there is more to come from him. I’m certain Charles would agree with that, his final cross, his final pass, his finishing. All these things he is capable of producing. I am sure his moment will come.”
McLeish is looking for Villa to build on their win over Fulham a fortnight ago when they visit in-form Arsenal on Saturday.
He said: “I think we were a bit frustrated not to get the other home game but there was no hesitation in cancelling the Bolton game (following Trotters midfielder Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest).
“But we would have liked the momentum from the Fulham performance and victory to go into another home game. Arsenal are in top form but we’ve won there before and should go there with belief.”