Fabian Delph admits there is plenty of room for improvement in his game despite his joy at completing a rare 90 minutes for Villa.
Delph was a surprise inclusion in Alex McLeish’s first Villa Premier League XI but justified his selection in the draw at Fulham.
The Yorkshire youngster admits he has rough edges to smooth off but hopes to keep his place to face Blackburn at Villa Park on Saturday.
“I pinged a few good passes, but I also shanked a few as well, so there’s a lot to work on for myself personally,” said Delph. “But it was my first 90 minutes for a long time.
“Hopefully with the new manager and the people around him, I can improve and with the players around me as well.
“To be in any starting 11 is very good for me personally because I haven’t been in favour that much in my Villa career so far, so I’m chuffed with starting in the 11 and hopefully I can do well for this gaffer.”
Delph admits Villa’s scoreless stalemate at Crave Cottage was a game of two halves with McLeish’s men much better before the break than after it.
But the former Leeds midfielder is confident the claret and blues can beat Blackburn even though they will be out to avenge their Asia Trophy defeat.
“I thought first half we did very well,” added Delph. “We kept the ball, we were moving, we were happy with the work rate and we were comfortable.
“I thought we could have taken a bit more initiative in the final third and maybe nicked a goal or two but overall we were happy with the first half. It’s a fair point. We weren’t that happy with the second half. They changed formation and made it a lot more difficult for us.
“Obviously we were away from home and all credit to them because they pushed us hard, but we managed to keep them out.
“We beat Blackburn in Hong Kong so I’m sure they’ll want to come to our place and give us a good hiding.
“But we’ll have a good look at them and I can’t see why we can’t get three points.”
Meanwhile, McLeish has revealed new fitness coach Adrian Lamb has devised a special individual conditioning programme to try to keep Delph injury-free.
The former Leeds midfielder has now been given a tailored exercise regime, which spares him some of the team’s heavier sessions, to keep him in top shape.
“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we’re going to manage Delph,” said McLeish.
“The fact he’s had injuries over the last couple of years means we’re just going easy with him just now in the training.
“He’s not going to do the huge big sessions at the beginning of the week when we’re trying to get his fitness and conditioning to a certain level.
“We’re working on him in the gym with a very tough programme whereas the others were out on the field. I think we’re managing it well and I really believe it’s the way forward.”
Lamb, who was recruited from Saturday’s opponents Blackburn during the close season, subscribes to the theory that prevention is better than cure with players’ injuries.
“Adrian is helping us go down the road of preventative measures to stop injuries,” added McLeish. “There’s training you can do for that as well, so we’ve got that earmarked. So right now that’s what we’re doing for the likes of Fabian. It will help him.”