Albrighton hails Pires
Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton has hailed Robert Pires' influence on the club's younger players.
Last Updated: 28/02/11 9:50am
Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton has hailed the influence of Robert Pires on the club's younger players.
Question marks were raised when Villa manager Gerard Houllier brought in the French veteran on a free transfer last November.
It was initially thought that ex-Arsenal man Pires had disrupted squad harmony as the club laid out the red carpet in order to facilitate his commute from London to Birmingham in style.
However, Houllier's decision to land the 37-year-old has been vindicated and promising talent Albrighton, who has enjoyed a breakthrough season, is delighted Pires is on board.
Albrighton has revealed that Pires, who was given a standing ovation after being substituted in Saturday's 4-1 win over Blackburn, constantly passes on tips and tricks to players in training.
"He (Pires) is a big influence on the younger players," explained Albrighton.
"He passes on a lot of tips. He helps the young boys out, in fact, not just the young boys but the whole squad.
"The rest of the lads appreciate what he has done in the game.
"If he is telling you something, it is definitely something to take on board."
Albrighton added: "He (Pires) shows touches in training that make you sit back and think 'that is why he was so good'.
"Against Blackburn, he did it again on the Premier League stage. He has done very well for us."