Westwood Week: Ashley - Fans amazing in good and bad times
Ashley Westwood has paid tribute to the claret and blue army for the way they screamed the team to safety.
Westwood joined Villa from Crewe in August 2012, making his debut in the 2-0 win over Swansea before establishing himself as a first-team regular.
The 22-year-old was thoroughly impressed with the veracity of the crowd throughout the campaign.
That wasn't just when Villa won - but also when they lost too.
Westwood was thrilled with the superb support in good times and bad times.
He thinks that unwavering faith from the stands played a big part in helping the team emerge positively from their relegation scrap.
He said: "Villa Park was absolutely rocking this season. Look at the games against the likes of West Ham, QPR and Sunderland for example.
"They were magical atmospheres to play in.
"But it wasn't just the games we won, it was the ones we lost too.
"The fans stuck with us and that was a major thing for us as a team.
"At the end of the Newcastle and Man Utd games, despite the defeats, the fans were still cheering us and applauding us. That was a real positive thing and bodes really well for the future.
"I really felt the connection between fans and players and long may that continue. As the gaffer has said, it's the most important relationship at the club.
"That support is what we need because we're a young, emerging team and we're going to need the fans to stay with us.
"When I joined Villa, I was really looking forward to playing my football at Villa Park - and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
"Villa Park is just one of the greatest grounds in the country, no question. When all four sides of the stadium get behind you, it's an incredible feeling. It certainly gives you a real lift."
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