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Back to the old grind: Villa start preseason warm-ups

Aston Villa players and coaching staff returned to Bodymoor Heath where they will begin preparations for the new season.

Michael Regan

Summer signing Joe Cole and new assistant manager Roy Keane were two of the new faces that we will grow accustomed to seeing around B6 this season as the players returned from summer holidays to begin new season preparations. We may be seeing a few of manager Paul Lambert's old "enemies" as well; members of last season's bomb squad. Darren Bent, Alan Hutton, and Charles N'Zogbia will all be hoping to impress the new management team having been given a clean slate to work with.

Youngsters Gary Gardner and Jack Grealish will be others vying for a place at least on the bench for matchdays, but despite getting new contracts may see limited playing time once the Premier League season kicks off at Stoke City on 16 August - less than 40 days away.

A lot of questions remain for Lambert to answer, but with what owner Randy Lerner said today seeming at least somewhat positive in terms of the manager receiving at least some money to spend on transfers, we will have a little longer to know what to expect from Villa this season.

A top half finish should be the target as another relegation battle is almost unthinkable. New players should still be brought in, but some players may have to leave as well.

Are you hoping that Villa are able to bring in a couple new faces or clear out some dead wood, or are you happy with the team as it is? Let us know in the comments!

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