Aston Villa fullback Enda Stevens believes competition for places can only improve his game.

The young Dubliner readily acknowledges that his recent breakthrough has been largely down to the absence of injured trio Joe Bennett, Eric Lichaj and Nathan Baker, who are all adept in the left-back role.

But he told Villa's website: "Competition brings the best out in everyone. We don't dislike each other. We all get on and there's a great spirit in the dressing room. That's going to help us massively in the coming months. We thrive on competition. We're a team and we help each other through.

"I want to perform to the best of my ability and play as many games as possible for Aston Villa."