Marc Albrighton has lauded the impact of Stiliyan Petrov during Aston Villa's end of season revival.
Villa managed to transform themselves from relegation candidates to top 10 finishers with a run of 14 points in seven games, which Albrighton has attributed - in part - to his inspirational senior colleague.
"Stiliyan's return was massive," the 21-year-old winger told avfc.co.uk. "He brings a leadership to things and he brings a lot to the team in terms of performance and attitude too.
"The defensive side of the game is brilliant. He breaks up play and then plays it simple. He won't overcomplicate it.
"He will give it to the players like Ashley [Young] and Stewart [Downing] who will create things.
"He is a voice on the pitch too - he leads by example and makes himself heard on the field too.
"The lads respect that. He encourages you on the pitch and let's his feelings be known.
"But he leads by the way he plays too, always giving 100 per cent to the side in every game."
Petrov has been employed as a defensive midfielder under the stewardship of Gerard Houllier, perhaps stifling his natural attacking instincts. Albrighton, however, is backing the Bulgarian to become a more destructive figure in the final third of the pitch.
"He's played that anchor role since he's been at Villa, playing in a more defensively minded position," he added.
"But, saying that, he still created chances for himself in the final few games of the season. He was unlucky with a few efforts which might have gone in on other days.
"We see in training he's brilliant getting forward too. He's got an unbelievable shot on him as well.
"When he does break forward and unleash that shot he shows he packs some power. His shooting is really superb."
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