Aston Villa: Marc Albrighton still needed, says boss Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert says that he ended Marc Albrighton's loan spell at Wigan Athletic because he is needed for Aston Villa's busiest period of the season.
The winger, 24, had been expected to stay for a second month at Wigan, but Villa manager Lambert called him back.
Starting with Saturday's home game against Sunderland, Villa face a run of eight Premier League games in 33 days.
"He's done well for Owen Coyle. But we need everybody and I've pulled Marc back because of that," said Lambert.
- Marc Albrighton had his best season with Villa under Gerard Houllier in 2010-11, scoring six goals, before continuing to remain a key part of the squad under Alex McLeish the following season
- He has so far started just four league games under Paul Lambert, having played once for Villa this season, in the Capital One Cup defeat by Tottenham, before joining Wigan, where he made four appearances
"The amount of games we're going to have to play in this period is pretty demanding."
Villa allowed four players to go out on emergency loan deadline day on Thursday but two of them were keepers - former Republic of Ireland international Shay Given (Middlesbrough) and youngster Benjamin Siegrist (Burton Albion) - while winger Jordan Graham (Ipswich Town) and defender Enda Stevens (Doncaster Rovers). also moved.
But Coyle was disappointed that the loan could not be extended for Albrighton, who has played only once for Villa this season.
"We'd hoped to extend his loan until a minimum of January," the Wigan boss told BBC Sport.
"If he goes back to Aston Villa and plays in the first team, then great.
"If he's left kicking his heels, then I think he'll be as frustrated as the rest of us because he certainly made an impact at Wigan Athletic and would have continued to do so.
"He's been a great lad, I can't speak highly enough of him, so much so that he actually came in and trained even though he was leaving - that's how much he enjoyed being part of the group."