By Paul Brown
Marc Albrighton admits this season is "absolutely huge" for him as he looks to impress Paul Lambert and make himself a first team regular.
Albrighton is eager to show what he can do - after missing the chance to shine in front of Lambert in both games against Norwich last term.
Albrighton was on the bench for Villa's 3-2 win and injured for the 2-0 defeat, meaning Lambert was unable to catch his wing skills in close quarters.
But the midfield ace is now keen to deliver in training and gain a place in the first XI.
He said: "It really is a fresh challenge for me because I didn't play in either of the Villa v Norwich games last season.
"I didn't play in the 3-2 win at Villa Park or the 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road so the gaffer hasn't seen me up close on the pitch. Maybe he has seen bits of me. Maybe he hasn't.
"But, for me, it's a massive season and one I am relishing. I had a first season which was good but the second wasn't so good. This third season is absolutely huge for me.
"I am going to try and impress and hopefully I can. It's so big. I can't put it into words. Hopefully I can impress early on and my confidence will take me on for the rest of the season."
Albrighton returns to training this week after being given the all-clear from the thigh injury which dogged the back end of last season.
He added: "I strained my thigh before the Norwich game. I did it three times in three months, which was obviously frustrating.
"They didn't want to risk it. I felt like I could play but we had already managed to stay up so there wasn't much to play for, from that perspective. We weren't fighting relegation.
"I have come in a couple of days in the summer to make sure it's healing well and looking good. The physios are very positive about it and say it looks fine. I am raring to go."
Click here to buy season tickets for the new term as Villa embark on a vibrant new era.