Villa v West Brom: El Ahmadi demands real derby focus
Karim El Ahmadi loves the buzz of derby night - but insists Villa must stay focused throughout the 90 minutes.
El Ahmadi enjoys the elation and excitement on the eve of each neighbourly encounter.
But he says that once the whistle blows, the players must be right at it and not give an inch to their Albion opponents.
He said: "The derby games are exciting for the fans. It's the same for the players. They are always nice occasions to look forward to.
"For the team and the club, obviously it's an important game. It means a lot.
"There's always a special atmosphere and there's something different in the air.
"We feel that on the pitch as we walk out. But, when the whistle blows, focus and concentration is key.
"You have to be switched on and do your job. That obviously gives you the best chance of winning the game.
"It's a great occasion, no doubt about it. But the most vital thing is the three points.
"We feel good after the Liverpool performance and we are looking forward to getting back to Villa Park again now.
"People know we haven't done as well at home as we have away from home. This would be a good game to turn it around because it's a derby and means a lot to supporters.
"We will try to start picking up points at home. The supporters will be right up for it and they will cheer us on. We are looking forward to it."
El Ahmadi, of course, was a claret and blue hero in the first game between the clubs this term.
Baggies charged into a two-goal lead early on through a double from Shane Long.
But El Ahmadi chipped home in the second half before Ashley Westwood blasted in an equaliser.
He added: "I enjoyed it. It was a good feeling. It was a good moment.
"But the main thing about it was that it helped us come back from two down to draw the game.
"It's always nice to score but the main thing is getting something out of the game."
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