Fabian Delph is hoping to put his injury woes behind him and make a significant impact on the Aston Villa first team.

The 21-year-old has made just seven appearances for the Villa this season due to persistent knee problems, but was given the opportunity by Gary McAllister to prove his worth against Arsenal last Sunday.

Delph looked comfortable and assured at the heart of Villa's midfield, as the Midlanders ran out 2-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium.

The former Leeds youngster is now hoping the experience will serve him well in his quest to claim a regular starting berth.

"We had experienced players in there with me like Nigel [Reo Coker] and Stiliyan [Petrov] who guided me through it easily," he told the official Aston Villa website.


"I wouldn't say I found it difficult but I haven't played a lot of football this season - or for the past two years really.

"It took me a bit of time to get into it but with those players beside me and guiding me through it was fantastic. They were superb.

"I was delighted with my own performance and that of the team too. To contribute to a win at Arsenal meant the world to me. I was absolutely delighted.

"I need to get a really good pre-season now - injury-free - under my belt and then see what I can do after that."

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