Charles N’Zogbia today claimed Villa boss Paul Lambert has created a culture where hard work is rewarded and reputations count for nothing.
The French winger endured a difficult first season at the claret and blues following his £10m move from Wigan and did not see eye-to-eye with former Villa boss Alex McLeish.
N’Zogbia was dropped and fined for a breach of club discipline by McLeish and vented his frustration with an outburst on Twitter later in the season.
But despite starting Villa’s last four Premier League games on the bench N’Zogbia insists he has bought into Lambert’s philosophy and is happy to knuckle down.
“It’s not about money, how many games you’ve played or international appearances,” said N’Zogbia. “If he thinks you are not good or fit enough to play you have to stick to it and work harder. It is good to have a manager like this.
“Sometimes you can have a bad game and you know in your head you’re not going to work hard, you know you are going to play.
“But when you know you have a bad game then you don’t play, it makes you think. It is better for you.
“Is it fair to say reputations count for nothing at the moment? Yes.”
n Charles N’Zogbia was speaking to the Express & Star in conjunction with Villa Vitality, a Premier League-funded children’s obesity prevention programme launched in association with NHS Birmingham.