By Dan Harrison
Andy Marshall is thrilled to be reunited with former Norwich team-mate Ian Culverhouse - and he has backed the assistant manager to bring an intensive boost to the Villa squad.
Marshall was coming through the ranks at Carrow Road when Culverhouse was lining up in the Canaries' defence in the early 1990s.
And the veteran goalkeeper reckons Culverhouse is the ideal person to help kickstart the claret and blues.
"I did play with Ian Culverhouse at Norwich and that shows how old I am!" said Marshall.
"I've known Ian for a very long time. I was 16 when I first met him and went full time at Norwich.
"I'm still the fresh-faced whippersnapper to him! I had about three or four years with him at Norwich between the age of 16 and 20, so I had a little bit of time with him.
"I got to know him and I think I've played with him fully for about a season.
"I know the sort of player he was, I know the sort of character he was and again he'll know the same about myself.
"He was an exceptionally good full-back and probably one of the most underrated right-backs that there was at the time, playing in a very good team that was finishing third in the Premier League at Norwich and playing European football.
"He was no mug. He was a very good player, very good man, very straight and honest guy."
Marshall says Culverhouse's training sessions are already having an impact on the squad.
The popular No.2 has been putting the players through their paces in the sweltering Philadelphia heat over the last few days.
"The lads are enjoying working with him," he said.
"They understand the intensity he works at and it's no different to when he played, he played with exactly the same intensity.
"Ian will work at a high intensity, but he will also understand the players needs.
"If they need a day off or they need a rest, or something's up with them, he'll see that, he'll understand that.
"Because once you've got an open vision as a coach and you understand your players, if they're not performing from day to the next, which is unusual, then you know that there's something up with them.
"We've got a good honest bunch of lads here, from the young lads, right through to the experienced players.
"They're giving everything that they can do and the coaching staff realise that.
"We hope we will reap the rewards. I still feel the squad needs maybe a couple of additions because last year we looked weak on numbers because sometimes we were down to a few of the youth team players being on the bench.
"If we can have a couple of additions I think that will help us as well."
Full guide to Villa's USA tour 2012 - click here.
Don't miss out on Paul Lambert's Villa Park debut against Everton - click here.