Curtis Davies is convinced that Alex McLeish has landed a bargain following his move from Aston Villa, claiming that his former employers only have themselves to blame after taking a ?8m hit on his transfer value.
The centre-half switched sides when he joined Birmingham City on deadline day for ?3.5m - just three years after Tony Mowbray had sold him to Martin O'Neill for a mammoth eight-figure sum.
Davies remains perplexed as to why he was not given a chance to prove his worth after shoulder surgery sidelined him for four months last season.
His last appearance for Villa in the Barclays Premier League came in a 3-1 victory at Anfield - a triumph in which the defender himself scored. But he fell foul of the Richard Dunne and James Collins axis and feels he was never given the chance to impress again.
The defender, who at the age 22 was the second-youngest skipper in West Brom's history, said that Villa have lost out financially because of that. 'I think I'm a bargain whatever the fee was,' he said. 'My price was so low because I was a victim of not playing.
'When I went to Villa my price was inflated because West Brom's chairman, Jeremy Peace, was shrewd and Villa were willing to pay it - but that's not my fault.
'But then it is Villa's fault that my price has dropped because I wasn't playing. By going out on loan to Leicester I kept myself in the shop window. Now I just want to play well and prove I'm worth it.
Last chance: Davies (left) scored at Anfield in his final league game for Villa
'I believe I can get better, I'm more experienced for a start. When you're young and doing well, you get a pat on the back because you're young. You don't get as many lives when you get a bit older. It's expected of you - and so it should be.
'I'm confident in my ability and that i can do well. If I get the chance and stay fit, I think i can be better.'
Davies hit the headlines following his debut for Villa, two months after starting by judging his own display during a Carling Cup defeat by Leicester City as akin to that of 'a pub player.'
If he makes his debut against Manchester City this evening, he will not want to start as badly. Asked whether he thought he was being hard on himself, Davies added: 'What's the point in me doing an interview if I'm going to lie.
'It's nice of you to say I wasn't that bad, but I thought it that way so I said so. I've been like that since I played at Under 9 level. If we win 3-0 and I thought I didn't play well, I'll come off and say it.
'It's great to feel wanted. At Villa, going to training became a chore, like going to work. I know that sounds strange because it is my job and thats what I get paid for but, I've never experienced a nine-to-five job, so I can't describe that.
'I was just getting to the stage where it was a drag training with no reward at the end of it. I play football for a living so it's nice to feel good about that again.'
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