Remi Garde says Jordan Lyden has the right attitude to succeed at Aston Villa, though he admitted the youngster is “not the most gifted player” in his squad.
The Australian teenager, soon to turn 20, made his full debut for Aston Villa in the 2-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Wycombe, playing the full 90 minutes.
He has been in and around the first team for the past month since being included in the matchday squad for the first time against Arsenal on December 13.
Lyden was also on the bench for further Premier League matches against Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Leicester City and got his first taste of senior action as a late substitute in the original tie at Wycombe 11 days ago.
A midfielder by trade, Lyden started at right-back on Tuesday night and, albeit against League Two opponents, nullified the threat down the visitors’ left-hand side as well as showing plenty of attacking intent.
”It was not his favoured position, but I wanted to play Micah (Richards) at centre-back and Lyden told me that he’s played right-back before,” Garde said.
”For his first game, he was okay – he’s a good player. He is working well. He is young and he is working very well in training sessions.
”Maybe he’s not the most gifted player that I have in the squad but for sure he has one of the best attitudes in the team.
”He’s got a very good attitude – and that’s important when you want to go step by step as a football player.”
After such an excruciating campaign spent at the foot of the Premier League table, it looked like things might go from bad to worse for 75 minutes on Tuesday night.
There was a tangible air of relief around Villa Park when Ciaran Clark headed the opening goal and the home supporters could finally relax after a first goal for summer signing Idrissa Gana in the final minute set up a home tie with Manchester City in round four.
Garde, whose first game in charge was against City in November, said: ”It’s a big perspective for us. It’s a big game to play.
”It will be tough for sure because City have good players everywhere on the field.
”It will be a good opportunity to play in the FA Cup again, which is very important.”