By Paul Brown
Assistant boss Peter Grant has jumped to the defence of under-fire Alan Hutton, insisting: "He's not a dirty player."
Hutton has been criticised over the past few days for a tackle which injured West Brom forward Shane Long.
But Grant was quick to step in and paint a more positive picture of Villa's reliable right-back.
"I know what he's been painted as but he's not that type of player," said Grant. "That's been proven over the years.
"People haven't said in the past that Alan is aggressive, goes over the ball and is a dirty full-back. I don't think anybody's ever said that in his career.
"They've said that he's an attacking full-back who likes to get forward.
"I think sometimes his biggest problem is that he's desperate to hit the ground running. There's that impatience in his game.
"You can see him running along the line. He's trying to get up and down the pitch.
"We're telling him 'Alan, calm down - it will come'. He's trying to make everything perfect and in football everything's not perfect.
''You're going to make mistakes. It's how you respond, what's your reaction.
''You must try and make it better the next time and that's what Alan must do.
"Alan's disappointed with certain things he's done, but there's certain things he's done very well."
Hutton is a doubt for Saturday's trip to former loan club Sunderland after sustaining a cut near his eye which required seven stitches after an accidental clash with Charles N'Zogbia.
Carlos Cuellar and Chris Herd will be in contention for the right-back spot if Hutton misses out.
Grant is convinced the Scottish international will be a long-term success at Villa.
"He's not found his feet yet," admitted Grant. "There's more to come from him and we know he can be a top player here.
"You don't go to Tottenham for the price he did if you're not a top quality full-back.
"Yes, there are different reasons why it didn't work there, we understand that. Every manager's got their own opinion and we've no problem with that.
"But there's absolutely no doubt about his ability. I saw him play three internationals on the bounce against Ukraine, Italy and France and he wasn't just Premier League class he was world-class in those three games.
"We all know he's got those performances in him."
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