Curtis Davies admitted he is "chomping at the bit" to make a big impression at Aston Villa as he prepares to finally make his debut in Wednesday's Carling Cup clash with Leicester at Villa Park.
Davies was sidelined with a hamstring injury when he made his move from West Brom and then the form of Martin Laursen and fellow new boy Zat Knight meant he had to be content with a place on the bench.
But he will get his opportunity against Villa manager Martin O'Neill's former club and is determined to give him a selection headache for the Premier League clash with Tottenham on Monday.
Davies said: "This is a great club and I am delighted to be here and I want to repay the faith shown in me by Martin O'Neill with my performances on the park.
"The manager's record speaks for itself. He has turned players like Muzzy Izzet, Emile Heskey and Robbie Savage into great players and hopefully I can be one of those players who goes the same way.
"This is a great squad of young and hungry players and I wan to play my full part. It's great that I am going to get the chance to make my debut. I think the manager would be happy that I am impatient to get into his first XI because if players don't have that attitude then they don't deserve to play.
"I have been a regular player wherever I've played and I hope sooner or later to be the same at Villa. I'd certainly like to give him a headache for the Tottenham game. If I can do as well as I know I can, then hopefully it will be a very hard decision for him. I am chomping at the bit to do well."
O'Neill confirmed: "Curtis will play. He is recovered from his hamstring injury and I want to see him in action. He is raring to go and wants to do well. We were delighted to finally get him after chasing him for much of the summer and we have got good competition at the back for places now."
O'Neill turned Leicester into a formidable force, winning the League Cup twice, and since then they have gradually slipped into the doldrums. But he is anticipating new manager Gary Megson will have them fully motivated and is mindful that Villa needed a last-minute goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor to overcome them 3-2 after extra-time in the competition last season at the Walkers Stadium.
O'Neill said: "I still have a soft spot for Leicester. I had a difficult start after we didn't win for 10 games and I copped some stick from the fans for a time. It may not have helped that I was a former Nottingham Forest player.
"But we managed to turn it around and had some good times. I've been told that Garry has also been getting a bit of stick but maybe that was more to do with the fact some of the fans weren't happy Martin Allen left after a few games.
"He is a good manager and he will have them galvanised and thinking that they can get a result at Villa Park. They will feel capable of taking us on."
O'Neill is set to make changes from the side which defeated Everton on Sunday - one of them enforced, with striker John Carew sidelined for up to six weeks with knee ligament damage.
But he will still be fielding a powerful side with the likes of Davies, Marlon Harewood, Stiliyan Petrov, Shaun Maloney, Craig Gardner and Isaiah Osbourne all set to be drafted in.
O'Neill said: "It is a route into Europe and a chance to win a trophy. I won it as a player and twice as a manager and the League Cup is something I take seriously."