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Gardner: Westwood has set the bar for other Villa midfielders
Gary Gardner on Ashley Westwood.
24th Mar 2013
Gardner: Westwood has set the bar for other Villa midfielders


Brown

Gary Gardner has hailed the performances of Ashley Westwood this season, insisting the silky-smooth central man has set the bar for the other midfielders in the squad.

Gardner has watched on from the stands during his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

And he's been impressed with the poise and panache of Westwood in the middle ground.

Westwood achieved a 97% pass accuracy rate against QPR, a fact not lost on Gardner.

The 20-year-old is relishing the chance to train with Westwood when he's back in full training.

He said: "Westy was pure class against QPR but he has been since he's been here. He's improving every game. He's getting better all the time.

"Westy is a good player, he's been quality since he's been here.

"He's so comfortable on the ball, doesn't look flustered and never gives it away.

"His ability to keep things ticking and keep hold of the ball, protect it, is something you need in the middle of the park. He's been brilliant.

"He's a top lad aswell, a really good guy. He's a nice guy to be around.

"In playing terms, his passing is sensational as was shown against QPR. But it's not all about his passing.

"He's not afraid to mix it up and put a foot in either. He certainly can do that.

"He's just been brilliant. Hopefully he can finish the season strongly.

"I am relishing training with him in the future."

Gardner says boss Paul Lambert deserves a lot of credit for spotting Westwood plying his trade for Crewe in the lower leagues.

He added: "Bringing Westy here is good management.

"To spot a player who's just come out League Two into League One, bring him to the Premier League, play him and see him perform to those kind of levels, that shows how good the gaffer is at finding talent."

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