Villa stars in upbeat mood

Milner and Warnock keen to push on in the New Year

Milner: Hard work ahead

Milner: Hard work ahead

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James Milner and Stephen Warnock are hoping Aston Villa can build on their promising start to the season.

Heading into the Christmas period, Martin O'Neill's side occupy a standing inside the Premier League's top four.

A push for UEFA Champions League qualification is now very much on the cards, but Villa must be avoid slipping into the same traps which scuppered their hopes last term.

An alarming slump during the second half of the season cost them dear in 2008/09, and Milner admits that situation cannot be allowed to repeat itself 12 months on.

The England international told Sky Sports News: "There is a long way to go. We have had a good start, but we had a good start last year. I think we should have learnt from last year, that's the main thing.

"You can make mistakes because things happen in football, but it's about learning from them.

Quality

"If we can take something what we learnt towards the end of last year, we have got more players this year and a bit more experience and more quality, I think we will be okay."

Milner added: "There are a lot of teams battling for places up there so we will just do what we have been doing so far, take it a game at a time and concentrate on our own business."

Warnock, a summer arrival from Blackburn, feels the versatility within the Villa camp will aid their cause this season, with O'Neill able to tinker with his tactics when required.

"I think that's the good thing about the squad, it's flexible and players can play in a lot of positions," said the full-back.

"The manager has been quite fortunate in that respect, with the likes of James (Milner) able to play in a number of positions."