Spanish treat for Pompey
Sat, 22 Jun 2013 15:40:00
Marc Albrighton has vowed to work as hard as he can to get back to top form and establish himself as a key member of the Aston Villa side.
The winger struggled with injuries last season and faces a crucial year in his career ahead of his contract expiring next summer.
The arrival of Alexander Tonev will provide further competition for places in Albrighton's position, but he is ready for the challenge and says he will be not be relaxing too much before returning for pre-season training.
"I just want to get fit and over the summer work hard," Albrighton said in the Birmingham Mail.
"I've got to sort of forfeit my holidays to some extent, but that's the sacrifices you've got to make if you want to make it to the top.
"I'm willing to do that just to get back to what I love doing next season."
While he found it frustrating not to play much of a role in Paul Lambert's first season as Villa manager, Albrighton insists there were plenty of positives to take from the team's improvement in the closing stages.
"It's very hard to be going and taking my seat every Saturday afternoon or whatever it is, instead of putting my kit on and getting dressed for a game," he added.
"It's so difficult, but the lads have done really well and it's been enjoyable to watch.
"The football that we've played just lately has been fantastic. Hopefully we can continue that.
"It's fantastic to come into the training ground after wins, you can feel the buzz around the place and it's just so different."
The Spanish top-flight side, who finished eighth in La Liga last season, will visit Fratton Park on Sunday, July 28 (kick-off 3pm) in what will be Pompey's final match before the season begins.
Guy Whittingham told the club's official website: "All the Football League clubs start on the same day, so there's a lot of demand for an attractive final friendly.
"To get a team from La Liga who finished eighth last season shows that we've done well.
"Everyone enjoys the way Spanish sides play football and I'm sure they'll provide a good test for our players."