Steve Sidwell believes he is reaping the benefits of his first extended spell of first team football since moving to Aston Villa 15 months ago.
The midfielder endured a difficult first season at Villa Park after moving from Chelsea as he suffered a series of niggling injuries and also failed to establish himself in the first XI when fit.
But the departure of Gareth Barry to Manchester City created an opening, and Sidwell said: "The settling in period didn't go as well as I wanted but now it is going great."
He added: "Once you get a run of games, you start to express yourself. It's very hard to come in one game at a time or off the bench as it was last year.
"I had a run of games around Christmas when I was doing well but I came out of the side.
"I've played a few on the bounce now, it feels comfortable, the team looks good and long may it continue."
Sidwell continued: "How do you deal with being out of the side? Try and keep your head down, keep working hard in training and hope there is light at the end of the tunnel, a break or a chance, and that's what I've done.
"I'm a strong character, I got my head down and hopefully now I am reaping the rewards. My performances are getting there but I can still do a lot better."
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