Alan Hutton admits that his heart bleeds for Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane after his recent standout performances.

The former Villa and Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the 29-year-old has proven his quality over the past couple of weeks after a “frustrating year”.

The Republic of Ireland international has featured in all but one of Villa’s games since the return of the Premier League, including Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Everton.

Hourihane started and played the full 90 minutes during the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, with Ezri Konsa heading home the midfielder’s free-kick to open the scoring.

Hutton admits he has a huge amount of sympathy for his old teammate and insists he has demonstrated what a good player he is recently.

Hutton told Football Insider: “He’s one I really feel for to be honest because when he has come in, he’s done unbelievably well.

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“He’s got a great delivery, he can see a pass, he gives that little bit extra in midfield I think.

“It’s been a frustrating year for him I think, he’s had to play second fiddle along the way but he’s one of these guys that if he’s not playing, he wants to prove his worth and he shows that in training or on the pitch.

“He’s done that – he’s come off the bench a few times and justifying his place in the starting. I’m really glad to see he’s come in and really made an impact.” 

Hourihane has played a total of 32 times across all competitions for Villa this season, with seven goals and five assists under his belt.

He has had to battle it out with the likes of Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn and Henri Lansbury for a place in the side.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has revealed the real reason John McGinn isn’t hitting the heights after talks with his ex-teammate.

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