By Dan Harrison
Ciaran Clark has praised the "unbelievable" backing Villa received on the road during pre-season - and he hopes to see it continue at West Ham today.
Clark reckons the claret and blue faithful can play a big part in helping roar Paul Lambert's team to victory in this afternoon's Barclays Premier League opener at Upton Park.
The 22-year-old defender says the players were thrilled with the levels of support they received in the build-up to the new campaign.
Around 2,900 Villa fans are expected to travel to east London today and Clark is confident of repaying them with three points.
"It is a big game all round for both teams," he said.
"But I think we've got the quality all round to go down there and do well.
"I know it is an away game but that doesn't really make a difference because I'm sure the Villa fans will be right behind us.
"We're all up for it and we want to come back with all three points.
"Wherever we have been, even in America, the fans have been great. In Germany as well there was a group of fans out there who were fantastic.
"The support has been unbelievable already so hopefully we can take that into the season."
Clark will head into this afternoon's clash on a high after his goalscoring exploits against Werder Bremen last weekend.
But the academy graduate, who looks set to line up alongside Ron Vlaar for the first time in a competitive game, insists keeping clean sheets is his top priority.
"It was one of those where it just came in to me, took a rebound off someone and I took a touch, turned and hit it and it went in the bottom corner," he added.
"I haven't really set myself targets, I just look to get in the box and get a goal. If the ball is a good delivery then you've got half a chance of getting on the end of it.
"It is always nice to get a goal but I'd rather make sure we are alright at the back and keeping clean sheets."
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