Clark: Villa camp in harmony despite lack of singalong
Ciaran Clark says Villa's new recruits are feeling a real part of the harmony in camp ahead of the new season - despite missing out on a pre-season singalong.
Clark hailed newboys Karim El Ahmadi, Matt Lowton, Brett Holman and Ron Vlaar for the way they have fitted into the claret and blue setup.
He thinks the trip to the USA was a massive aid to their integration and believes the subsequent clashes with Peterborough, Nottingham Forest and Werder Bremen have further helped.
But Clark admits their start was made all the easier by the absence of the usual initiation reserved for incoming players, with previous rituals including belting out a song while standing on a chair on tour at meal times.
He said: "The new guys are great. They have come in and really integrated quickly.
"The way the lads have been welcomed in as new signings has been brilliant and there's a really good atmosphere in the dressing room as we head into the new season.
"I know the new lads feel really part of the set-up here. That tells you how close we all are. And that can only be good for the season to come.
"The pre-season trip helped - it always does. In terms of game time, the three matches were good and it was a top workout for all the boys. It was good to play games in a short space of time to get everyone's legs going and get back into the swing of things. We've taken it on from there.
"When new lads come in it's always good to spend time together and bond. That's why the pre-season tour is very important.
"There's no better way to do that then to spend several days away on a tour."
On the absence of an initiation, he added: "To be fair we haven't made the new lads do anything.
"They got away with that a bit! I know a lot of teams do stuff and we have in the past but we didn't this time around!"
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