By Dan Harrison
Ashley Westwood has been backed to stamp his authority in the Villa team after delivering some impressive performances in training.
With Karim El Ahmadi suspended for today's clash against Sunderland, Westwood is among several options under consideration by boss Paul Lambert to fill the midfield void.
The Villa chief witnessed an accomplished display from Westwood in Monday's Barclays U21 Premier League game against Stoke City.
He also likes what he has seen from the 22-year-old midfielder on the training field since his August arrival from Crewe Alexandra.
Westwood has made two appearances from the bench so far in his Villa career but Lambert is confident he can rise to the challenge when he gets an extended run in the team.
"He's got a great knack of not giving the ball away which is rare," said Lambert.
"Karim, Fabian Delph and Barry Bannan have been playing really well but he's in my thinking too.
"Once you get thrown in it's up to them from there and hopefully you stay in the side, that's important.
"He's another one that could be a right good player.
"He's training well and playing well for the reserves. He's doing fine."
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