N'Zogbia is trying too hard claims Big Eck
Published 21:30 30/09/11 By James Nursey
Alex McLeish is banking on Charles N'Zogbia being inspired by the prospect of facing his old club.
The French winger was Villa boss McLeish's only big-money summer signing for £9.5million.
But N'Zogbia has yet to repeat his scintillating Wigan form, where he bagged 10 goals last season.
It means Villa are struggling for creativity after selling Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.
But boss McLeish, whose side are unbeaten in the League, said: "This could be the game that kick-starts his Villa career.
"I'm expecting him to be turning it on and creating in the last third in every game.
"The inspiration for Charles is he's at a bigger club and the expectation levels are higher. I'm sure he realises that and Charles has got belief in himself, it's just about getting that extra five per cent out of him in the last third.
"I'm sure it'll come, because we've seen him doing it so many times before. He's got an electric turn of pace.
"He links up well on both sides, if we can get him on the ball in the last third, it's about him then being at his most creative."
N'Zogbia was infamously called 'Charles Insomnia' at Newcastle by then-Toon boss Joe Kinnear, but McLeish insists the star is working tirelessly at Villa.
"I think maybe he's trying just a little too hard at times," said Big Eck. "Maybe he's got to get an early cross or through pass in rather than just delaying that wee moment and looking for something."
N'Zogbia has been playing on the left for Villa and claims to prefer the other flank.
But McLeish said: "Charles, I think if he looks back in his history he'll see that he played mostly all his career at Newcastle on the left.
"Charles also roasted Stoke in the last game of the season when he put a cross in for Rodellega to score and keep Wigan in the league.
"So he's capable of both sides, no doubt about it, he may prefer the right hand side but can be just as effective on the left."
And the player insists he is fired up for Saturday's clash with his previous employers.
"I hope I will score my first goal for the club against my old team," said N'Zogbia. "I am going to try all I can do to score that goal and be really happy for me and the club.
"Hopefully that goal or that assist will help me to feel even more confident in this team.
"But I have only been here a month-and-a-half. It is early. There is still more to come and hopefully when I am really into my game and into the belief and confident I know I will be on top form."