Villa putting N'Zogbia through his paces

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has revealed Charles N'Zogbia is being given a "crash course" in training in a bid to get him fit for the start of the new Barclays Premier League season.

The £9.5million signing has enjoyed little in the way of a close season due to playing for France early in the summer, as well as his move to Villa Park.

McLeish is hoping to give N'Zogbia his debut in Saturday's final pre-season friendly against Braga in Portugal before a likely substitute's role in the league season-opener at Fulham a week later.

However, the winger may yet play for France in a friendly with Chile on Wednesday which could throw a spanner into the works for McLeish.

"That would curtail our plans and training a little bit if he's missing, but we don't think Charles is too far away," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

"He is only doing running at the moment and has not joined in with any of the football.

"He is a little bit behind in that respect, so we're trying to give a crash course before next weekend.

"We'll be looking to get Charles involved right away. He'll come to Braga, hopefully he'll play at the weekend. As to how many minutes he plays, that remains to be seen."

Source: PA