Ashley Westwood has paid tribute to returning Ron Vlaar, hailing him as a leader on the pitch and an inspiration off it.
Vlaar returned to the side for the 2-1 win at Reading and was chosen in the BBC Sport team of the week for his polished performance at the back.
Westwood praised Vlaar for his skippering skills in the heat of battle but also his professional approach at the training ground.
Westwood, captain at Crewe before his move to Villa, is a big fan of Vlaar's immense character in the coliseum of combat and also his round-the-clock approach to preparation in the week.
He said: "Ron is great to have around the place. He's a leader, on and off the pitch.
"On the pitch he's a rock at the back. Whenever he plays he helps the team. He's always talking to the players and encouraging them on.
"He has a chat with you one-on-one too during the week. It's great to see him taking an interest in the other players, checking their mood and what's on their mind.
"He comes in on his days off too. I don't know when he has time to sleep because he's always at the training ground. He's so professional. That shows his commitment.
"His presence is huge for us on the pitch. Just look at him, he's a giant, he's so strong, he wins his tackles, he wins his headers, that's what you need, that's what any team needs.
"I admire him as a player and a captain. You have some skippers who are vocal while others lead by example.
"But Ron does both. He gives 100% in every game, which inspires the other lads. But he's always there with the right things to say at the right times too."
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