By Paul Brown
Chris Herd steps up his fitness bid this afternoon in the Barclays U21 Premier League opener against Stoke insisting: "I'm raring to go."
Herd strained his thigh in training late in the pre-season programme but has now bounced back.
The versatile midfield ace is in the starting line-up as Villa take on the Potters at Bodymoor Heath this afternoon in the newly-created development league, kick-off 1pm.
And Herd insists he's eyeing a spot in Paul Lambert's XI as soon as possible.
He said: "I am fully fit. I am over my injury now. It's good to be back.
"It's been frustrating. I was fit for most of pre-season and then in the final two weeks I got injured.
"It was a nightmare but I am back fit now. I am positive now and I will be training hard and trying to work my way into the team.
"I am relishing the competition. There's Karim, Fabian, Barry and Gaz as well as myself.
"It doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter what level you play at, competition is great in football.
"The gaffer has already said that about it's how you perform in training and in games.
"Everyone is playing for their position. It's good to hear that if you're doing well in training, he will give you a chance."
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