By Dan Harrison
Steve Sidwell has vowed to battle for a place in Villa's midfield and show supporters his very best.
The midfielder hit the comeback trail on Monday with an outing for the reserves, as he steps up his bid for match fitness following an Achilles injury.
While Sidwell feels he has shown glimpses of his best since arriving from Chelsea in July 2008, the 27-year-old says there is plenty more to come.
He hopes to force his way into the first team and seize his opportunities.
Sidwell told AVTV: "I feel I've shown glimpses. The games that I have played in the previous years, there have been some good games and some poor games that I have played.
"If I get a run of games I am sure I can perform to the best of my ability.
"Hopefully now whoever takes charge I will get an opportunity and I will take it."
Sidwell knows competition for places in midfield is hotting up, with skipper Stiliyan Petrov, new signing Stephen Ireland and Nigel Reo-Coker all making strong starts to the season.
First and foremost, Sidwell is targeting more game time in order to reach peak fitness after sustaining the Achilles injury against Valencia in pre-season.
But he has also vowed to do everything he can to earn his chance for Villa in the Barclays Premier League this season.
He added: "Everyone is walking with broad shoulders thinking they have got opportunities and chances.
"So it is going to be tough but it is down to individuals to perform in training, perform in reserve games and show the manager you are worthy of a start.
"Once you get that, you have to take it with both hands. Fitness wise, I've been training really well and looking sharp.
"It is just games that I need. Everyone says match fitness is the most important thing. I wasn't unfit before the injury took place.
"I played a few games in pre-season and I missed two weeks of training.
"So it is just recouping now, getting a few games under my belt and seeing where I go."