Aston Villa have handed a new contract to Aussie midfielder Chris Herd.

The Australia Under-20 international is set to put pen to paper on a deal which will keep him at Villa until the summer of 2015.

Villa boss Alex McLeish said: "Chris is in the team because he has deserved a chance. He has been a good anchor man in the team. He keeps the game simple.

"He's shown that you can force your way in, and I want other players who are willing to kick the door down and make me pick them.

"That was the message I gave to all of them at the start of the season, and that is what Chris has done.

"He's a whole-hearted boy. He has fantastic application. He trains like a beast every day and is a good role model to any player in terms of his attitude.

"He is improving all the time, and that's partly because he's getting first team football."