Matthew Lowton has expressed his excitement for the future at Aston Villa after penning a new contract with the club.
Lowton, 24, has signed a deal to remain at Villa Park until 2017.
The defender, who operates primarily at right-back, enjoyed a superb debut season with Paul Lambert’s side and was a key figure in their successful fight against relegation.
Villa have made six signings in the close-season and Lowton believes the upcoming campaign can be a positive one for the club.
“It is a very exciting time for the club,” Lowton told the Villa’s official website.
“We went through some difficult periods last season but we finished strongly and had won a lot of people over by the end of the season. Everyone could see what the gaffer was working towards and over the second half of the season it showed.
“With the new signings this season as well as some players signing new contracts, the likes of me and Ashley (Westwood), Andi (Andreas Weimann), Brad (Guzan), Ciaran (Clark) and Nathan (Baker), it shows the club is moving forward and it’s really exciting to be a part of that.
“Everyone’s playing together in the (pre-season) matches and everything is coming together nicely.”
Lowton was pleased with his first season at Villa, in which he made 44 appearances, and the former Sheffield United man is eager to build on his solid start.
“Last year was amazing for me. I don’t think there’s enough time in the day to tell you what I’ve learned,” he added.
“To do what I did last season surprised me a bit to be honest but I took every game as it came and I did well enough to keep my place for the next game. That’s what I’m looking to do next season.
“I can’t be looking to rest on my laurels now after one season in the Premier League, I’ve got to push on and make sure I make that starting XI for the first game and hopefully continue that for the rest of the season.”