The Scotland international, who was on loan at Nottingham Forest in the earlier part of this season, is relieved to be playing first-team football again on loan at Real MallorcaReal Mallorca defender Alan Hutton says he was "wasting away" at Aston Villa, and is glad to have secured a loan deal until the end of the season.
The 28-year-old hadn't played since Paul Lambert took over as the Villans' manager before the start of the season and moved on loan Championship in order to gain first-team football. After his short stay with Nottingham Forest, Hutton was then offered the opportunity to play in La Liga with Real Mallorca.
Hutton told reporters: "I can savour these times more because of the frustrations I've been through. I was training with the kids at Villa and thought, 'What am I doing here?'
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"I knew I could cope with it if I was 100 per cent fit, playing and training, but it's one thing thinking like that and saying it.
"Eventually you have to go out there on the pitch and show it. I think I'm doing that now because I'm getting a run of games and my sharpness is back.
"To go from doing nothing at Aston Villa, feeling as if I was wasting away, then to be playing against Real Madrid the next minute, it definitely makes it that bit more special."
Hutton has made seven starts for the Spanish side since his move from the Midlands and admits he does not know why he was not a success at Villa Park.
"I don't really know what happened at Villa," he added. "As far as I can see they're moving in a different direction, whether it be youth or whatever. It wasn't really made clear.
"I realised things were going badly when I didn't go on the pre-season tour and then I was training with the first team, then the kids.
"I went into a dip because it was affecting everything – my confidence, my life at home, my performance and my Scotland career as well."