Grounded Westwood determined to avoid second season dip
Ashley Westwood is adopting a grounded approach as he looks to avoid second season syndrome at Villa.
Westwood was a revelation in Paul Lambert's midfield last term following a deadline day move from hometown club Crewe Alexandra.
The 23-year-old accepts greater expectations have been place on him this time around after the important part he played in Villa's late-season flurry.
But Westwood insists he still has plenty to learn having only stepped up from League One just over 12 months ago.
"People start expecting more from you," he said.
"I'm still learning the league. It's a tough league and I'm not forgetting where I've come from.
"This time last year, I'd just signed. It's been a big year for me and I need to keep on improving.
"Last year I didn't really have time to think about it. I was just thrown in and it was either sink or swim.
"I thought I did well last year, but it's about getting to grips with the league.
"There's some top players in this league and it's all about challenging yourself."
Westwood says Villa can be happy with their points return so far in 2013-14, having played six of last season's top seven sides.
The midfielder believes the claret and blues answered a lot of questions that were asked of them by beating Cardiff last weekend.
"Saturday's result was something the team needed," he added.
"We needed a big win at home and another clean sheet is always nice. We've scored the goals so we've got that off our backs now.
"We've got a nice break so we can hopefully get everyone fit and hopefully go again.
"I think you look at the start we've had we've played most of the top seven so to be in that position I think the lads have done brilliantly.
"We've set ourselves in good stead to really kick on now.
"Against Everton we could have been 3-0 up at half time. That's another three points and then we'd be in the top half. So it's a nice position to be in."
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