By Dan Harrison
Alex McLeish has backed Stephen Warnock to regain his form after hailing the full-back's "outstanding" response to being dropped.
Warnock was left out of the starting XI for the Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City a fortnight ago after some indifferent performances.
But the former Liverpool and Blackburn defender has received praise for his professionalism since losing his starting spot.
Manager McLeish revealed Warnock took his omission on the chin and has shown a determination to win back his place.
"He's reacted really well, he's trained brilliantly," said the Villa boss.
"To be fair, he always trains at 100 per cent every day.
"His attitude is excellent, outstanding. He feels it's the first time he's had this kind of indifferent spell.
"It's happened to the best. Stevie said he witnessed it at Liverpool to the likes of Carragher and Gerrard in certain moments. It does happen.
"He's worked hard and trained very, very well."
Warnock could be recalled to the back four for Saturday's clash against Wigan with Richard Dunne and Ciaran Clark both sidelined by injuries.
And McLeish has no qualms about selecting the England international despite his recent struggles.
"It's not easy to chop and change the team when you get injuries, never mind chopping and changing when a player goes off form," he added.
"If you were to drop a player every time he made a mistake then you would need about 2,000 players in your squad.
"You have to be realistic at times as well and if a player goes through a hard time to try and get him out of that kind of rut.
"You also have to make the players realise there is competition in the squad and if you make a mistake maybe more than normal there is someone breathing down their neck."
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