Tommy Elphick gives his verdict on Aston Villa's performance at Derby

Aston Villa's Tommy Elphick with a head injury

Roberto Di Matteo's men were held to a 0-0 draw at the iPro Stadium.

Aston Villa's Tommy Elphick with a head injury

Captain Tommy Elphick believes Aston Villa were unlucky not to come away from Saturday’s clash with Derby County with more than a point after being held to a goalless draw at the iPro Stadium.

Elphick was speaking to Sky Sports following the match after seeing his side twice hit the woodwork during the first-half and having a shot of his own cleared off the line 20 minutes from the end before substitute Libor Kozak later headed a glaring chance wide.

Derby only really threatened for a brief period after the break – when they mustered their lone shot on target – as the Villa skipper and his centre-back partner James Chester both produced impressive performances to help keep the likes of Chris Martin quiet and preserve their second clean sheet in three games.

Gary Gardner of Aston Villa (R) hits the post with a shot on goal

Roberto Di Matteo’s men have now taken five points from their opening four Championship fixtures of the season, but Elphick insists that better results are to come once the team starts to gel more.

“We’re not quite getting the rub of the green at the moment, but we’re working hard,” the former Bournemouth defender told Sky Sports at the final whistle. “We’ve been unlucky not to be on eight points now. It’s a work in progress with a lot of new players, new staff and new owners so it’s going to take a bit of time to gel, but we’re getting there.

"The important thing for us is bridging the gap between us and the supporters and working as a team, and I think we’re doing that at the moment.”

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo

Elphick himself was deservedly named man-of-the-match for his display on the day, having racked up a team-leading eight clearances, two tackles and two interceptions over the course of the 90 minutes, as well as made seven recoveries and won three duels.

The 28-year-old summer signing from Bournemouth has certainly lived up to his billing as a commanding and talismanic leader so far, and his presence at the back should continue to prove crucial to Villa’s fortunes over the course of the campaign.

Aston Villa's Tommy Elphick receives treatment after sustaining a injury following a collision with Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher

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