Alan Hutton believes Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane is undroppable for the clash with Brighton & Hove Albion after the international break.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Scotland international who left Villa Park in the summer revealed that the 28-year-old put in a standout performance in the 5-1 win over Norwich City and can’t be left out for the club’s next game as a result.
Hourihane scored one goal and registered one assist in the 78 minutes he played in the Villans’ comfortable victory over the Canaries.
Hutton explained that Hourihane had been put in a difficult situation this season following the club’s summer transfer business as competition for his first-team spot has increased.
“I think everyone knows what he is capable of,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“It’s been a difficult situation as they’ve brought in a few sitting midfielders and Conor I think, he’s in between that as he’s not quite a sitting midfielder or an out-and-out attacker.
“I think when they moved to a three in midfield, that suits him better in my opinion.
“He doesn’t moan when he’s not in the team, he just wants to prove that he should be playing and I think he has done.
“The other day (v Norwich), it was an absolute standout performance so I don’t think he can be left out for the next game (v Brighton).”
Hourihane has been sparingly-used this season by Dean Smith as the 28-year-old midfielder has only completed 90 minutes on one occasion out of the five league appearances he has made.
The Republic of Ireland international has been with the Villans since 2017 after joining from Barnsley and has racked up 118 appearances for the club in the process.