Quick links

Aston Villa

Ashley Westwood declares it an honour to play for Aston Villa

Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood scores their second goal

The midfielder needs to improve his performances for the club this season.

Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood scores their second goalAston Villa's Ashley Westwood scores their second goal

Aston Villa take on Sheffield Wednesday later today, as they begin their bid to win immediate promotion back to the Premier League after last season’s dire performances in the top-flight.

Villa fans found themselves fed up with the attitude and performances of many of their players last term – with the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Leandro Bacuna and Joleon Lescott under particular scrutiny.

Ashley Westwood celebrates scoring the second goal for Aston VillaAshley Westwood celebrates scoring the second goal for Aston Villa

However, one player who cannot be faulted for effort is midfielder Ashley Westwood. He always put in his best for the club and this week has spoken warmly of his time at Villa.

He told the Tamworth Herald:

"You can train for all them years and then, suddenly, one day, you can be told you're not going to be a footballer… then all of a sudden you've got to find a new career.

"Luckily for me it's gone smoothly and I'm very grateful of it.

Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood in action with Southampton's Oriol RomeuAston Villa's Ashley Westwood in action with Southampton's Oriol Romeu

"I've played a lot of game and that's what I'm here to do and get paid to do.

"And, to be at a club like Villa, it's a great honour for me."

Of course Westwood may put in more effort than many of his team-mates, but that does not exult him from blame.

His performances last term were poor. Villa fans were often left frustrated by his ineffective midfield play throughout 2015-16.

Ashley Westwood was captain of Crewe AlexandraAshley Westwood was captain of Crewe Alexandra

This season, with Villa in the Championship, many will be hoping that Westwood can shine in the second tier more than he did in the top-flight last term.

He will have to start on fire, as Sheffield Wednesday lost in the play-off final last season and are looking for promotion themselves.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch