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Villa boss sees role for Stiliyan Petrov

Villa boss Alex McLeish has claimed Stiliyan Petrov will be a key player for the club this season as they prepare for the Barclays Asia Trophy final against Chelsea.

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Villa boss Alex McLeish has claimed Stiliyan Petrov will be a key player for the club this season as they prepare for the Barclays Asia Trophy final against Chelsea.

There had been question marks as to whether Petrov would keep the captain's armband for the new campaign, having been in and out of the side last season.

But the 32-year-old Bulgaria midfielder has captain the side during pre-season and McLeish insists he is still an important influence in the team.

He said: "The experience of players such as Stiliyan is vital for the young players. He's a great example. I think the players look up to him.

"He's got so much experience both at international and European level. Stiliyan was more of a marauder at Celtic and scored a lot of goals coming from his great runs from the midfield.

"As you get older sometimes you modify your game a little bit, but I know that Stiliyan can still choose his moments to get forward and create or score goals.

"We always want players that have got that kind of talent to have that freedom."

[24link]

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