Ciaran Clark has hailed the influence of Ron Vlaar, calling him Villa's "rock", ahead of the derby clash with West Brom.
Clark believes Vlaar is living up to his nickname of 'Concrete Ron' after impressing whenever he's played in the heart of the defence this season.
Vlaar has had a few fitness issues this term, mainly with his calf, but has excelled when fit for action.
Clark insists it's not just his performances that have dazzled but also his leadership skills.
Vlaar is a vocal presence in the back four - and Clark appreciates this attribute as Villa get set to face the Baggies on Wednesday.
He said: "Ron is a great leader in the team.
"He has had his injuries. It's been in and out for him.
"But the last two games he's been a rock for us.
"He's growing in confidence with every game he plays and stature because of his performances.
"He's a good influence in the back four. Every time we train or play, I feel like I learn from him.
"He gives me bits of advice, things I can use to help improve my game.
"He's like that with whoever he plays alongside. He's always very encouraging and supportive. That's what makes him a good player and a good skipper."
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