Marc Albrighton is hoping to emulate former Aston Villa wingers Ashley Young and Stewart Downing by mastering the knack of playing 'inside out' as he prepares for his second season in the Barclays Premier League spotlight.

The England U21 international midfielder capped an excellent breakthrough season at Villa Park last year, but is fully aware of the importance of continuing his progression.

Part of that process for Albrighton is to improve his versatility, and he is working tirelessly to add more strings to his bow in order to keep defenders on their toes as he strives to prove he's no one-trick pony.

"I think you've got to work on things every single day," said Albrighton. "If you've only got one trick then defenders will find you out eventually, whether it be in the first year of your career or the fifth or sixth year.

 

"I think you have got to keep learning new and different ways and I can only do that with the rest of the lads in training. They'll pass on tips and you can learn from players from that."

The sale of Young and Downing has increased the weight of expectation on Albrighton's young shoulders, as Villa fans look to him and new signing Charles N'Zogbia to provide not only the creative spark, but additional attacking threat and supply to Villa's forward line.

"I think if you can play on both wings it's another string to your bow," Albrighton continued. "With Ash and Stewie last year I think they showed how to do it brilliantly.

"They were regularly switching wings and they had a lot more shots from it because they were cutting in on their stronger foot from their weaker side and getting shots off. I think it does help.

"You can stay on your best wing when you need to, but you've always got that option if you can do it."

Topics:
#Marc Albrighton
#Sunderland
#Stewart Downing
#Premier League
#Ashley Young
#Aston Villa
#Charles N'Zogbia
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