Tim Sherwood likens Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood to Michael Carrick

The Villa boss believes the 25-year-old can be his side's answer to the Manchester United star with his no-nonsense style.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the club’s official website of his admiration for Ashley Westwood, calling the midfielder “one of my favourite players” and comparing him to Manchester United’s Michael Carrick.

Westwood, 25, proved one of former boss Paul Lambert’s most trusted servants after arriving from Crewe Alexandra in August 2012, making 90 total appearances for the Scot and even earning support for an England call-up.

The former Crewe captain was also among the club’s better performers amid their dismal run of results earlier this season which led to Lambert’s sacking, before seeing a hamstring strain disrupt his start to life under Sherwood’s management.

However, after sitting out three games, the defensive midfielder took the suspended Carlos Sanchez’s place in the line-up for the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool and put in a superb showing to help Sherwood’s men upset the Reds 2-1.

The Mirror reported at the time that his future at the club was in doubt due to the manager’s belief that he is “not creative enough” but, having continued to impress in three further starts, those claims now seem wide of the mark.

 Since 25/04/15 Total Key PassesTotal Passes GAMEPassing AccuracyTotal Tackles GAMETotal Clearances GAMEDuels Won GAMEDuel SuccessInterceptions GAMETouches GAMEBall Recoveries GAMEDispossessed GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Ashley Westwood 1 48 88% 1.67 1.33 2.33 58.33% 2.67 58.33 3 0.33 3 233

In fact, Sherwood has since made of a point of praising Westwood for the underappreciated role he fills in the Villa side and believes there are clear similarities between him and England international Carrick, who the No. 15 himself as cited as a big inspiration.

"Ashley is definitely my cup of tea. He's the sort of footballer I like,” said the Villa boss. "He's not going to score you a bag full of goals but if you analyse him, he passes the ball forward more than most.

"He slides it in between the midfield and gets the No.10 on the ball. He passes it quick and the commentator does not have time to say his name. That's what I like.

"He's the Michael Carrick mould of a player and I think he can get better.

"I'm certainly happy with what he's doing. He's one of my favourite players."

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch