Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry believes Marlon Harewood deserves his first Premier League start following some substitute appearances.
Harewood has produced some influential displays from the bench (Getty)
Harewood has not begun a league match since his £4m move from West Ham last summer but has helped turn recent games against Liverpool and Newcastle.
"It is always about a squad and Marlon deserves a lot of credit," Barry told Villa's official website.
"He's desperate to prove a point and I think he's now in the manager's mind."
While Harewood has had to be content with sitting on the bench for much of the season, he has had an important motivational role within the squad according to Barry.
Marlon's been an asset all season. He's kept working hard and had to remain patient.
Villa captain Gareth Barry
"He pumped the players up at half-time (against Newcastle) and got the crowd going," he said.
"His workrate lifted everyone and I'm sure John (Carew) with his goals appreciated all the work Marlon did for him.
"Marlon's been an asset all season. He's kept working hard and had to remain patient."