By Dan Harrison
Ashley Westwood has wasted no time in getting up to speed with the Barclays Premier League - thanks to Paul Lambert's "lightning" training sessions.
Westwood made the big leap from League One to the top-flight when he joined Villa on deadline day.
But the former Crewe skipper says his new club has "felt like home straight away".
Westwood has hailed his new team-mates for helping him make a smooth transition to life in claret and blue.
Although the 22-year-old admits stepping up two divisions was a daunting prospect at first, he has relished the intensity of playing at a higher level.
"It was daunting at first but when you get out there you just forget about that and get on and play the football," said Westwood.
"Training is lightning. That is the big thing I noticed - the training is so intense and every day you have got to be on it.
"You can't afford to cruise through training here.
"To be fair to the other lads they have been brilliant.
"It has felt like home straight away, I've been made to feel really welcome.
"I can't really pick one individual out - they have all been welcoming.
"I sit next to Matt Lowton in the dressing room. He is my age and he has come from the lower leagues so he is one that I've spoken to more."
Westwood was thrilled that boss Lambert gave him the chance to shine straight away.
The midfielder made his debut as a substitute in the victory over Swansea City before coming on at half-time a week later at Southampton.
"It is amazing to be part of the first team squad," added Westwood.
"I was happy to come here and be spare man to start with but to actually be involved on the bench and get the experience from that, especially with the atmosphere at the grounds.
"It is going to take time to get used to it. It was nice to make my debut in the first match I was really involved in.
"It is nice that the gaffer is showing faith in me and I just need to keep pushing on now."
Westwood is taking inspiration from Fabian Delph, who is now a regular in Villa's midfield after serving his apprenticeship in the lower leagues.
"Delphy has been brilliant," he added. "He has come on and done really well this year.
"He is the one that has stepped forward and hopefully I can do the same.
"The gaffer said to the young lads if you are good enough I'm not afraid to push you in so hopefully I can do my bit."
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