Ashley Westwood has backed Villa to kick on from the Sunderland victory - after hailing their powers of recovery.
Westwood said it was important for the claret and blues to pass the character test after a difficult festive period.
And the midfielder reckons the togetherness of the group was evident once again at the Stadium of Light as they ended a five-match winless run.
"We've shown that we can bounce back," said Westwood.
"We've had a few disappointing results but it is two unbeaten now so onwards and upwards.
"We are all together and we are a real strong unit in there. I think that showed out there.
"We came here last year and got the 1-0 and that kicked us on for the rest of the season so hopefully this can do the same."
Westwood reckons defensive toughness was the key factor in the New Year's Day victory.
He was keen to emphasise the importance of keeping another clean sheet - Villa's sixth in the league this season.
"I thought we could have scored four or five but the clean sheet was the main thing - they win you games," he added.
"There were some massive performances at the back.
"Bakes did well again, Luna had the best game he's had for a while and the whole back four were brilliant.
"We are a lot stronger at the back now and that gets you results."
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