Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is confident Stiliyan Petrov can score more goals this season after his stunner against Sunderland.

The Bulgarian international fired past Simon Mignolet from distance in the 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light, his second of the season in a more advanced midfield role.

It left McLeish in no doubt that the former Celtic man will be able to add to his collection this season, with Petrov's all-round attacking play keeping the manager happy.

"It was great, a tremendous goal from Stiliyan. When he played in Scotland for Celtic he scored a lot of goals in Europe and the SPL. But he was an attacking midfielder," McLeish told the official Aston Villa website.

"He made runs off the ball but he's had to modify his game. Since he's come to England, he's been used in a different way.

"He's a great striker of the ball and accurate from distance. If we can get him in those positions more often, we could see more of those goals."

Petrov himself paid tribute to young midfielder Chris Herd, whose rise to prominence in the first team has given the veteran license to play in a more advanced role.

The 22-year-old Australian added to his growing reputation with a fine display against the Black Cats, and his performances have not gone unnoticed within the Villa camp.

"In previous seasons I have been the one who has been sitting deeper and looking after everyone but now it's Chris. He's given me more help," added Petrov.

"He's taken over my position and given me more chance to go forward. I think the balance is good. It's working well. He's a boy with good confidence and a good attitude."

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: