Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel has underlined the importance of the club maintaining a challenge for Europe to help them attract quality players during the transfer window.
He said: "If you are a struggling team it is difficult to attract quality players. If we can hang on where we are at the moment, just outside the top six, we will have more chances to bring in good players.
"If we can have more depth in the squad, it will be better and the more quality we have, the more chance we have to compete at the highest level."
Luke Moore is stepping up his training after recovering from a shoulder operation to cure a problem that has dogged him for three years.
Moore, often played out of position as a winger, impressed in the early part of the campaign before the injury flared up in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in late September.
"I am making good progress," Moore said. "And I expect to be back soon."
Martin Laursen, the Villa defender, is ahead of schedule in his bid to return from a knee injury, sustained during the 4-0 defeat away to Chelsea in the League Cup last month.
Jlloyd Samuel is sure to return to the squad over the Christmas period after recovering from a groin injury while Mark Delaney is also making good progress after sustaining a knee injury during the summer.
Samuel, the left-back, successfully came through a friendly match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday and could be in the squad for the match against Manchester United on Saturday. Delaney is a week or so behind Samuel.
It helps that the Villa players will be able to train inside a large, inflatable tent. Villa manager Martin O'Neill has convinced club owner Randy Lerner to invest in the equipment to ensure that dipping temperatures will not affect preparations for matches during the winter. O'Neill used similar equipment when he was manager of Celtic.
Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, expects Henrik Larsson to make his debut for the club against Villa in the FA Cup third-round tie at Old Trafford on January 7.
The veteran striker, who played under O'Neill for Celtic from 2000 to 2005, is joining United on loan next month but will not be eligible for the New Year's Day encounter with Newcastle.
"We are happy and delighted we've got Henrik," Ferguson said. "I would think he'll be playing his first game against Aston Villa, and his old manager Martin O'Neill, on January 7 in the FA Cup tie.
He has had to do it before, playing for Barcelona against Celtic, so it's not as if it's an unusual one for him. Nonetheless, it will be an interesting day for us.