sport

N'Zogbia happy to be back

Aston Villa winger Charles N'Zogbia is determined to go from strength to strength after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.

The Frenchman missed the whole of last term with an Achilles problem but he was fit enough to take a full part in pre-season and has returned to the Villa side at the start of the new campaign.

He is delighted to be back in action and now hopes to improve his performances as he gets sharper and continues to work hard.

"It has been a long time since I have played and I feel really happy to be back on the pitch again now," N'Zogbia said in the Birmingham Mail.

"They are great feelings for me after being injured for such a long time.

"I was frustrated to be not playing football but I had to keep it in my mind that I would be happy again and back playing.

"To come back and score in pre-season was a big bonus.

"It gave me more and more strength and hope that the hard work I had been doing was finally starting to pay off.

"My hopes are to play as many games as I can, to be happy and to have a good season.

"I've been working hard at it so hopefully my performances will become stronger."

N'Zogbia, who joined Villa from Wigan Athletic in 2011, admits that he found his time on the sidelines difficult.

He said: "When you step out of it for a period of time you realise how to appreciate other things away from football.

"But you realise how much you've missed it when you're watching Villa play.

"Then in your mind you become focused on fitness and recovery to make sure you'll be back stronger."