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Villa v Arsenal: Bannan expecting a pre-match pep-talk text from Petrov

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Villa v Arsenal: Bannan expecting a pre-match pep-talk text from Petrov

By Paul Brown

Barry Bannan says he fully expects another pep-talk text message from club captain Stan Petrov on the eve of the Arsenal clash.

Bannan revealed that popular Petrov regularly communicates with him before games to offer his encouragement and support.

Villa's central midfield ace says that's indicative of a man who puts others before himself.

Bannan said: "We see him regularly at the training ground. It's always great to have him in and around the place. It gives us all such a boost.

"He's so positive too. Considering what he's been through, he's always giving loads of banter. He's an amazing influence at the training ground.

"He's great with the lads and the lads love him. He tries to get up to the training ground as much as possible and he's the same Stan.

"He's great before games too. He always sends me a text before games to say 'Good luck. You'll do well today.'

"That means a lot and gives me a massive boost whenever I go out on the pitch.

"That says everything about Stan. He's battling but he's still thinking about the players and the team.

"It's great to get the texts from him. He often texts me after games too to tell me 'well done' - obviously when I've deserved it!

"The last time he texted me after a game was following the Sunderland win to say 'You played brilliantly today.' That was amazing."

Bannan also says the 19th minute applause has a massive influence on the players on the pitch - and not just Petrov.

He added: "It is just fantastic. I know Stan really appreciates it. I think he's humbled by it. It's very emotional for him.

"But it helps the lads in games too. Fans wonder whether we notice it. Trust me, we do. It really focuses the mind and drives us on. I think it's a fantastic thing and long may it continue."

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By @AVFCOfficial 22nd November 2012