Villa rookie Enda Stevens has pleaded for the chance to continue his Premier League adventure at Manchester City this weekend to again test himself against the best.
Stevens impressed on his full top-flight debut last Saturday, but was critical of himself for switching off for Manchester United’s last-gasp winner in the 3-2 defeat.
Eric Lichaj is available again following a one-match ban, while Joe Bennett is understood to be making good progress with the knee wound that sidelined him against United.
But Stevens hopes to have done enough to convince manager Paul Lambert to give him another start against Roberto Mancini’s reigning champions at the Etihad Stadium.
Having come up against Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia, Stevens is now relishing the challenge of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko.
“I’m hoping to keep my place, I’ve got confidence,” said Stevens, who got his first taste of top-flight action a week earlier as a substitute in the win at Sunderland.
“I’ll go into training and train well and hopefully I’ll stay in the team for Manchester City.
“I’ve trained with the first team every day since I’ve been here. This debut has been a long time coming, but when you get your chance you’ve got to take it.
“If we play like we did against Manchester United there’s no reason why we can’t get a result against Manchester City. You know where you stand when you play against the best.”
Stevens, who was still playing for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland a year ago, felt he should have done better with United’s third goal when he lost scorer Javier Hernandez.
And the 22-year-old left-back admits it was a painful example of the high standards he must maintain if he wants to become a regular at Villa.