Aston Villa news

N'Zogbia coy on final day scrap

April 15, 2013
By David Instone

Charles N'Zogbia has played down fears of going into a last-day survival cliff-hanger at his former club Wigan.

Charles N'Zogbia celebrates after giving Aston Villa the lead
PA PhotosCharles N'Zogbia celebrates after giving Aston Villa the lead against Fulham

• Blog: Keep calm Villa

The possibility of the final-afternoon clash of the sides at the DW Stadium next month is still alive after weekend results that left both in trouble.

Sunderland's eye-opening victory at Newcastle on Sunday has turned up the heat on the other strugglers, especially as Villa failed to hold on to the lead N'Zogbia gave them at home to Fulham the previous day.

"It's going to be a big battle between now and then," N'Zogbia said. "It's always better to be safe before the last game and we have five games left. We just have to focus on those games and have the most points we can."

Asked whether the possibility of sending the FA Cup finalists down made him uneasy considering his 90-game stay there, he added: "I don't think I'd feel like that.

"I play for Villa now, I hope we can stay up and we'll do all we can to do that. No matter who I play against, I just want to be happy at the end of the season.

"It was a good goal (against Fulham) and we tried our best to get the three points. But we got one and we'll have to be happy with the point. It's not finished yet.

"We have to win as many as we can. Only then can we be happy. You just have to stay calm and play your game. Just be confident in yourself and don't be scared of thinking about relegation.

"Just think about football and think about winning. It's the only way. Block out everything else and focus on yourself. We have positive minds in training. The team spirit will see us through, we work for everybody. Anybody can score... last time, Matt Lowton scored a magnificent goal. As long as we work as a team, everybody can score."

It took an unreported thigh injury to Gabby Agbonlahor to grant N'Zogbia his latest way back into Paul Lambert's side. And, although the former Newcastle player was taken off in the second half while still threatening, he insists he is happy to bide his time.

"You always have to work hard to get back into the side," he said. "It's the manager's choice, he decides who he wants to put in the side.

"We've done well the last four or five games but when he asks me to play, I'm ready. It's a big team, we have many players but you're going to get your chance to play. So you have to make sure you don't disappoint."

"The manager has spoken to me and I understand everything. It's fine. There's a communication, so there's a not a problem. I've been playing for many years, so I know I'm not going to play every game. I will wait and be ready to play."

N'Zogbia's fellow midfielder Fabian Delph was left despondent after scoring Fulham's equaliser with an own goal and then blazing horribly off target from a chance to hit the winner.

But he insists there's no point reliving what has happened.

"You just have to forget it. Tomorrow's another day and he'll be back at training. He needs to forget it. He'll be focussed on the next game. He's been injured but now he's back in the team and I'm happy for him."