Albrighton eager to step up
Marc Albrighton is relishing the opportunity following the departures of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.
Last Updated: 20/07/11 4:32pm
Aston Villa's Marc Albrighton is relishing the opportunity following the departures of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.
The wingers have left the club for a total of £35million this summer, and both manager Alex McLeish and star striker Darren Bent have tipped Albrighton to shine in their absence.
The 21-year-old is now determined to do his best and thrive without the players who have been instrumental in his development.
He said: "It's always nice to hear that from your manager. They are big boots to fill, but for me it's an opportunity.
"I'll go out there and do my best and hopefully something will come of it."
But Albrighton admits he will miss the help and advice of Young and Downing.
"That's something that I haven't got this year which I think I'm going to miss," he said.
"They are two of the best wingers in England at the moment so to learn from players like that for the last two or three years is great for me.
"I don't have them this year, but hopefully they've given me enough lessons to show my own ability and go out there and perform."
Albrighton, who was speaking at the launch of Aston Villa's new home shirt, believes he needs regular first-team football to improve his game further.
He said: "Playing in Premier League games is the only way you're going to be able to test yourself, and you're testing yourself against the best there.
"To play every week would be great for me if I can manage that."
Despite the loss of key players this summer, Albrighton believes Villa should forget about a disappointing 2010/11 season and aim for a top-six finish.
"I think we've got to say that our target's Europe," he said.
"I don't know what happened last year, we should have been up there, but we conceded sloppy goals that have cost us victories and a lot of points in the end.
"This year we've got to jump back on it and finish where we should be. Aston Villa are a European club."