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Westwood eager to shine on top-flight stage after Lambert pep talk
Ashley Westwood ready to flourish in claret and blue.
10th Sep 2012
Westwood eager to shine on top-flight stage after Lambert pep talk


By Dan Harrison

Ashley Westwood insists he won't be fazed by the step up to the Barclays Premier League - after being boosted by a pep talk from Paul Lambert.

Westwood, who made his first appearance for the club in Saturday's Barclays U21 Premier League clash against Southampton, has been told he can have a big impact on the top-flight stage for Villa.

And the former Crewe midfielder can't wait to make his senior debut after being boosted by the manager's words of wisdom.

"There was one thing that stuck in my mind from when I came to sign," said Westwood.

"The manager said: 'I don't want you to come here and be a shrinking violet, I want you to come here and play the way that you can and that you have been playing for Crewe'.

"He said to me: 'It's the same sized ball you're used to, it's the same size in League One, in the Premier League, so there's no difference.'

"So that will always stick in my head. There's massive players here and I'm going to learn from them. I want to be a big player and hopefully I can do that."

Westwood is delighted to be at the forefront of Lambert's vision for a young, hungry and vibrant Villa side.

He believes his experience of first team football at Crewe, where he made more than 100 appearances, will stand him in good stead.

"The standard of games is very good and very high," he said.

"It's a lot of young English lads coming through and that's always good for the game.

"The gaffer did it at Norwich and is trying to do the same thing he.

"He's bringing young lads through because he knows that we're hungry and we want to do well and that we love football.

"I played more than 130 first team games for Crewe I think and men's football is where you want to be playing.

"The lower leagues are really tough. You've got fully grown men and strong lads kicking you and you don't get much time on the ball.

"I've seen here you get a bit more time on the ball, but it's just harder to break through."

Westwood has always been confident of fulfilling his Premier League dream.

"I always said to my dad, everyone finds their level, so it was just a matter of time really," he added.

"That's not me being big-headed, it's being confident of my own ability and this is where I feel I belong.

"You watch Match of the Day every Saturday and I have done since I was a kid.

"You think, that's where I want to be, the big grounds, with loads of fans. I've always had the ambition to get there, so it's unbelievable."

Snap up tickets for Westwood's debut against Swansea - click here.


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