Ciaran Clark: We need to start next season like we ended this one

The Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa defender is looking forward to the new season under Tim Sherwood.

Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark is optimistic about the club's future, after a drastic improvement in form for the last few months of the season.

The defender has told the Express and Star that such is the impact Sherwood has made since arriving at the club, the players now know that they have what it takes to get Villa back to where they should be.

“I think if you look at the way we ended the season, if we can take that form and confidence into the start of next season and continue it throughout then you just don’t know,” Clark told the Express and Star.

“Aston Villa is a massive club and should be up there. We want to be back up there again.”

Villa won 5 out of 13 league matches once Tim Sherwood took over, roughly 38% of their games. Compared to their form earlier in the season under Paul Lambert, when Villa won just five games in 25 league matches, an awful 20%.

The team seemed to have really turned the corner until a couple of disappointing in the last two games of the season.

But Sherwood has shown the players that they can be competitive, and considering that in their good run they managed to beat Spurs away and Liverpool at Wembley in the FA Cup, then Villa  can of course be optimistic heading into the new season.

Clark featured in 29 games last season, his second highest total since breaking into the side five years ago, and he will be hoping to go beyond his 35-game high come the start of the new season, though will have to work his way back to fitness and form after a knee injury knocked him out for the final few weeks of the season.

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