Will Hughes: Man United man James Wilson will be big boost for Derby

Derby failed to threaten Villa’s goal – and they also lived a charmed life at the other end.

Ross McCormack’s long range shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Rams keeper Scott Carson while Gary Gardner’s thunderbolt rebounded out off the inside of a post.

The stalemate was further evidence Villa are heading in the right direction after last season’s relegation nightmare.

Leandro Bacuna pointed to the team spirit and sense of togetherness which Roberto Di Matteo has generated in his short time in charge.

He said: “As a team, we are close together. We want to show the fans we’re not playing like last season, we’re not playing for ourselves, we want to do well for Aston Villa.

“As long as we keep together, we can do well this season.”

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