Bannan - Height does not matter
Villa youngster is big admirer of Spanish stars
Last Updated: October 1, 2011 1:08pm
Bannan: Used to being the smallest player on the pitch
Aston Villa starlet Barry Bannan is adamant he can cope with the physical nature of the Premier League and is happy to mix it with the big boys.
The Scotland International has become a regular fixture for the club since the arrival of fellow countryman Alex McLeish as manager.
And the 5ft 7in Bannan, who was voted September's player of the month by the Villa fans, believes height is not an issue.
He told the Independent: "I would say most of the time I have been the smallest player on the pitch.
"I used to play a few years above me when I was younger at school and that probably helped my progress. When you come up against people who are older, stronger and quicker than you, your good attributes have to be better.
"Nowadays, in the Premier League and at international level, I just say to myself that if I can play the way I can, I will never get involved in any physical battles. If my touch and awareness are quick enough then it gets me out of tricky positions. I am confident in myself that if my game is on top form it will be good enough.
The 21-year-old, who scored his first Premier League goal for the club from the penalty spot at QPR last weekend, says he is a big admirer of players such as Xavi, Iniesta and Lionel Messi.
He said: "They have proved to everyone that height doesn't matter. If you look at Spain and Barcelona, probably the two best teams at club and international level, there are not many players in their midfield who are 6ft.
"For me they are the perfect people to watch and you have Paul Scholes and Jack Wilshere, who is one of the best players in the league."