Aston Villa's young defender Nathan Baker has impressed manager Martin O'Neill in preseason.

Villa youth coach Tony McAndrew told the club's website: "He is a young lad who we've had at the club for a few years.

"He struggled with injuries in his first six months and missed a quite a bit of training.

"But since Christmas 2007, he's worked his socks off and has become an aggressive, positive defender.

"You can't teach people to want to put their head in there and win a football. He wants to do that and for a defender that's a fantastic quality.

"He wants to put his body on the line. He enjoys defending and I find it very refreshing to see that."