By support

17th Dec, 2016 | 12:30pm

Tommy Elphick praises consistent Aston Villa man

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.

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“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.