Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert admits Marc Albrighton is facing a critical season.

Derby County have been linked with a loan move for the midfielder who is out of contract at the end of the season.

"It's a big year but he will help himself," he said. "It's unfair as he has missed a lot of game time.

"He's been unfortunate. He missed nearly a whole season and he's still really short (of fitness). If something comes up and I think it's right I'll look at it. If I don't he'll stay here. He possibly needs a good run, he needs to stay injury free."