Aston Villa boss Unai Emery will demand more from Ollie Watkins as he challenged the striker to score more goals.
The manager wants Villa’s current top scorer to up his game ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
Danny Ings was sold to West Ham for £15million in January with Cameron Archer also joining Middlesbrough on loan, leaving Watkins Villa’s only senior striker – despite teenager Jhon Duran’s arrival.
Watkins has two goals in his last two games – and six for the season – with Emery eager to see him produce more.
“Ollie Watkins, his best characteristic as a striker is to be close to scoring, to be close to assisting and to be close to fighting with the defence, as he is doing,” he said.
“He will need his team-mates to help him achieve his objectives. At the beginning each match, for me and for them, is an exam on how we can respond.
“At the moment, he is doing well but I want to be more demanding with him because I think he can play better than he is doing.
“When he is scoring and he is helping the team to win, we can be happy. Everyone can do more and he is one of them.”
Villa go to the Etihad having won all three of their away Premier League games under Emery – beating Brighton, Tottenham and Southampton.
They have only won two of their home games – including Emery’s opener against Manchester United at the start of November – having also been stunned by Stevenage in the FA Cup at Villa Park.
Emery told a press conference: “It’s very strange because at the beginning it was more difficult to play away and the challenge was to play away. Now, we are taking points and being very, very competitive away.
“At home, we are not being as competitive as we have to be. Each match for us is part of our process of how we want to improve and win as a team.
“I try in each match to take good decisions around the tactical way and being firm with playing in our idea.
“I want to play the same matches in the same competitive way at home and away. We are going to focus on this Sunday’s match, trying to get the same performance away as we did before.”