By Paul Brown
Alex McLeish believes Alan Hutton is hitting top form at the perfect time - as he gets set to face former team Tottenham.
McLeish thinks Hutton is starting to show his class in claret and blue after sharpening up his fitness levels.
McLeish expects a strong performance from the reliable right-back as he renews old acquaintances at White Hart Lane.
He said: "Alan has been excellent in the last two or three games.
"I think a lot of it was catching up with some real fitness as well. He's a good athlete, Alan.
"He felt he was a wee bit behind on actual sharpness when he joined us and it was about getting into his stride again.
"It's about belief too. He's played for Rangers, he's played for Scotland, he's played for Tottenham and he's now playing for Aston Villa. That's all top level stuff.
"So the evidence is there for him and it's just about having belief in himself, but it was more about fitness than confidence.
"One of Alan's big assets is bombing up and down the line, a little bit like the boy Kyle Walker is now doing.
"Alan kind of set the precedent and it is one of his strengths.
"He should relish going back to Tottenham and he should take it as a compliment if he gets stick. But I'm sure the fans will welcome him back.
"I don't think he was thought of as a rotten player down there, so I'm sure the fans will appreciate what Alan has done there.
"He's a Villa man now and it will be up to him to show the fans what they're missing.
"You have a point to prove every time you pull on a football jersey.
"You hear people saying 'I've got nothing to prove', but you've always got to be true to yourself and try to make sure your performance levels are of the highest possible standard. That's the challenge to every player in every single game."
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