Tim Sherwood reveals why bringing Stiliyan Petrov back to Aston Villa was vital

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The Villa boss believes it's crucial to have club legends like the former skipper working within the setup.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the club’s official website that he intends Stiliyan Petrov to be a major contributor with the first-team after confirming the former captain’s return.

Petrov, 35, has returned to Villa Park as part of Sherwood’s new-look coaching setup, having been with the group for the 2-1 home win over West Bromwich Albion, when he was asked to give the half-time team talk.

The Bulgarian first joined Villa in August 2006 to reunite with ex-Celtic boss Martin O’Neill, overcoming a slow start to establish himself as a firm fan favourite and earn the captain’s armband in the summer of 2009.

He made 218 total appearances for the club until 2012, when he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, and has remained close to the club ever since, even having a short stint working with the second string during Paul Lambert’s reign.

Now back in familiar surroundings, Sherwood believes his presence alone will be a massive boost to the squad, and is excited to see what he can offer on the training ground moving forward.

“Stan will always have a place at this football club while I'm the manager. It's important for legends to come back to the club,” Sherwood said.

"But I don't want him to be a mascot here. I want him to contribute and he certainly can contribute. Stiliyan can add an awful lot to the football club.

"He knows the boys and he's well respected among the group. I think it's important to have as many people who know the fabric of the football club here. He's well and he's raring to go.

"He has a good football mind. He's a very technically-minded member of staff here now. I have had a lot of chats with him about the game.”

Petrov will now be in the dugout for the weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final visit of West Brom, when it’s hoped his involvement can have the same effect as in the first encounter of their double-header.

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