Boss Paul Lambert today called on Barry Bannan to avoid the comfort zone and hailed the midfielder’s part in Aston Villa's revival.
The 23-year-old’s return to the first team saw Villa win both of their survival showdowns with Reading and Queens Park Rangers.
Bannan was also added to the Scotland squad yesterday – after James Morrison’s withdrawal – and is in line to face Wales and Serbia in World Cup qualifiers.
And Lambert said Bannan has issued the perfect response on his Premier League return after more than a month out of the first team. He said: “No-one is happy when they are left out, that will never change.
“I had a chat with Barry and he’s responded in a really good way. This is Barry’s first real sustained season of being in the first team for long periods, then being in and out.
“Sometimes you need to do that to young players to take them out and give them a break – then put them back in and get the impetus from that.
“As long as nobody is in a comfort zone – as long as there is competition – people will always try to hit their highest performance.”