Shorey: Villa won't take Stoke lightly

Fullback Nicky Shorey says Aston Villa cannot afford to take Stoke City lightly this weekend.

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He told avfc.co.uk: "A lot of people have written Stoke off already because they've never been a Premier League side before and they are newly promoted. But I think we proved at Reading that you can survive and do well at this level as newboys.

"It won't matter to them that people are writing them off. The most important thing will be their team spirit because anything can be achieved if you are in it together.

"That first season in the top-flight at Reading was a fantastic experience. We were coming off the back of an unbelievable season in the Championship. We always felt we would be fine in the Premier League and so it proved."

Villa's new left-back expects a tough test at the Britannia at the weekend, particularly with the home crowd baying for a positive result.

He added: "It's going to be a tough game. I've played there many a time with Reading and it's always been a really difficult place to go and get a result. I think it will be the same on Saturday.

"It's their first game in the Barclays Premier League at the Britannia and that's key for them, especially after losing their opening match at Bolton.

"Their home crowd will be making a lot of noise and it's up to us to quieten them down."

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