Andreas Weimann believes Villa have the quality in Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker to ensure the lengthy absence of Jores Okore isn't felt too keenly.
Weimann has grown up with academy graduates Clark and Baker and knows first-hand their ability as well as what makes them tick.
The star striker has ever confidence that the emerging pair will stand up and be counted after Okore was frustratingly sidelined for up to nine months.
Weimann says the dressing room is distraught for Okore - a popular lad at Bodymoor Heath.
But he thinks Clark and Baker will perform well as Okore concentrates on recovery.
He said: "Jores has come in and played really well. It's tough for him to be out for that length of time.
"He's a really nice guy and a really good player.
"I know he will bounce back and return stronger than before but for the next while, of course, it will be tough.
"He has a very positive attitude though, so this will get him through.
"Ciaran came in on Saturday when Jores went off and I thought he looked good. He looks at ease at this level because he's been involved now for several seasons.
"Remember, he's played plenty of games over the past few seasons and he's growing in confidence.
"He has that experience now. We know his quality. We all know he has the ability to get better and better.
"I have played with both of them for six or seven years.
"Ciaran is brilliant at reading the game. His positioning is superb. He's good on the ball too.
"Nathan is just a real defender. He loves a tackle. He loves a battle. He will put his body on the line for the team.
"They have been both matured as people too. I have seen that as we've all grown up together.
"For us, of course, it's great that we're all playing for Villa in really big games and it means so much to us having come through from youth level here.
"But we're all in this together, all of the lads and we all want to progress and improve together as a team.
"We feel like we're doing that and over the course of the season we'll take that next step forward, that's what we're working hard to do."
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