Andy Marshall has revealed how a blast from his past is helping give Villa a boost for the future.
Marshall recalls new coach Ian Culverhouse from their days playing together at Norwich more than two decades ago.
And the veteran goalkeeper believes his former Canaries colleague is the ideal man to kick-start the claret and blues.
Marshall, now 37, was a teenager bursting on to the scene at Carrow Road, while Culverhouse was a popular stalwart at a time when Norwich were a Premier League force and competing in Europe.
“I did play with Ian Culverhouse at Norwich and that shows how old I am!” said Marshall.
“I’ve known Ian for a very long time. I was 16 when I first met him and went full-time at Norwich.
“I got to know him and I think I’ve played with him fully for about a season.
“I know the sort of player he was, I know the sort of character he was and he’ll know the same about myself.
“He was an exceptionally good full-back and probably one of the most underrated right-backs that there was at the time, playing in a very good team that was finishing third in the Premier League at Norwich and playing European football.”
Marshall, who will again provide cover for Shay Given and Brad Guzan after signing a new one-year contract, is delighted to have been reunited with Culverhouse.
“The lads are enjoying working with him,” he said. “They understand the intensity he works at, he played with exactly the same intensity.
“Ian will work at a high intensity, but he will also understand the players’ needs. If they need a day off or they need a rest, or something’s up with them, he’ll see that, he’ll understand that.”