Experienced Villa star identifies the 'important' change Sherwood has made in training

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has been complementary about the impact Tim Sherwood has had at the club so far.

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has told the club's official website that Tim Sherwood has helped to take the pressure off the players since taking charge.

Villa are in the thick of a relegation battle, but Sherwood's laissez-faire attitude on the training ground has impressed Vlaar.

The Dutchman says that Sherwood is always happy to have a joke with his players, and he believes this has been a boost for the Villa squad.

"I think having a laugh and a joke is good and he's the type of manager who likes to do that with his players," he said.

"The stress levels, even with the situation that we're in, are lower than before which makes it easier for everyone to work in this environment. To me, that's important."

Villa have certainly improved under Sherwood and seem to carry a greater attacking threat under his leadership.

Back-to-back wins over West Bromwich Albion and a 4-0 success against Sunderland have boosted morale during Sherwood's initial period at the club, but it would be wrong to suggest that they are out of trouble.

Villa lost 1-0 to Swansea City in their most recent fixture and they are still only three points above the drop zone.

It means that their position is still precarious and Villa's squad will need to return from the international break on the top form if they are to preserve their Premier League status.

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