Date: 17th December 2016 at 12:30pm
Written by:

By Dominic Toner

Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick believes that his team-mate James Chester has been an extremely “consistent” performer this season.

Chester, 27, moved to Villa park in the summer from West Brom and has developed into a crucial player under manager Steve Bruce.

The centre-back has made 20 appearances this season with all of them coming in the Championship and helped keep five clean sheets in those games.

He has formed a strong partnership alongside Villa captain Elphick and the pair are helping the club climb the league table, with a seven-point gap behind the play-off positions to make up.

Elphick has hailed the qualities of his defensive partner and feels that he is an extremely reliable member of the side.

“He’s (Chester) been brilliant. You know what you’re getting every week, really consistent and a good talker,” Elphick said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.

“He’s a good football as well, he can play with the ball, so it’s always helpful and easy to come back into a team when you’v got someone like James next to you.”

Chester enjoyed a fantastic tournament at the European Championships in the summer and helped Wales to an unlikely semi-final place.

The defender moved to Villa Park in search of regular football at centre-back and he has settled extremely quickly with the Midlands club.

Chester is expected to retain his place in the starting XI on Sunday as Villa travel to relegation-threatened QPR for a league clash.

Bruce’s side have suffered a dip of form recently and lost two of their three league matches, but have improved vastly since the change of manager.

In other Aston Villa news, Christian Benteke has sent a message to the club’s supporters.