Brad Guzan insists Villa are determined to make a statement in Monday night's crunch derby at West Bromwich Albion.
Guzan heads into the big West Midlands clash with two aims - to make the claret and blue faithful proud and to lay down a marker for the rest of the campaign.
He believes the encounter with the Baggies offers Paul Lambert's team the perfect opportunity to show how far they have come since their last trip to The Hawthorns in January.
"I think first and foremost, especially in a derby game, you want to win because you live in the city where you play," said the goalkeeper.
"And when you walk around the streets outside of football you want the fans to be proud.
"You want that satisfaction of beating your local rivals. Finishing above them is definitely a goal. Obviously there's a lot of football to be played the rest of the season.
"But for us it's about having an opportunity on Monday night to go into a derby game and really put our mark on it with where we are as a team this year and hopefully get three points."
Guzan says the passion of the supporters will make the players fight that bit harder in Monday's clash at The Hawthorns.
The 29-year-old was bowled over by the intensity and fervour of English derbies when he first arrived on these shores.
"I think that's what makes football over here so brilliant - the passion the fans have for their club and what it represents," he said.
"It makes the players go out and fight that much harder.
"Not only knowing that they're playing for the shirt and for their team-mates and everybody associated, but the most important are the fans."
Guzan believes Villa have learned plenty of lessons since last season's trip to The Hawthorns when they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.
"I think that was obviously our downfall and we ended up drawing the game 2-2," he added.
"Hopefully we've learned. A couple of performances as of late are a sign of things to come.
"It's a chance for us to go and not only have a little bit of redemption because of where we were as a team last year, but more importantly it's a chance to get three points and work our way up the table."
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