Winston Reid had been a West Ham United player for just nine days when he was handed his debut at Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2010/11 season.

Having recently returned to action with Danish club FC Midtjylland after representing New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Reid was thrown in at the deep end at Villa Park. Picked as a right-back, the central defender endured a difficult maiden appearance in claret and blue and was substituted with West Ham trailing 2-0 at half-time.

Since then, the 24-year-old has established himself as a first-choice centre-back at the Boleyn Ground, making more than 70 appearances and producing some outstanding performances as West Ham stormed back to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt.

On Sunday, Reid and his team-mates return to Villa Park hoping to pick up a victory that would strengthen West Ham's position in the Barclays Premier League.

"I had actually forgotten about it, to be honest!" joked Reid, referring to his debut. "Last time we obviously didn't have the best of games but we are hoping to win this time and I'm sure we are going to Villa in a positive frame of mind.

"Obviously it wasn't the greatest debut in the world but I don't really remember that much about the game. It's all a blur but I do know they scored three and we didn't score any."

Reid's positivity comes from a 1-0 home win over Swansea City last weekend - a match that saw the Hammers keep their first clean sheet in ten games and Andy Carroll mark his return to the starting XI with a towering winner.

"It was very important that we kept a clean sheet and even more important that we got a win," he confirmed. "Hopefully we can pick up from there and go on for the rest of the season.

"The return of players like Andy improves the quality of the squad. It's good for the rest of us and we're all hoping to push on together."

While Villa go into Sunday's game inside the relegation zone, Paul Lambert's side have scored six goals in their previous three Barclays Premier League matches and came within a whisker of winning at Everton last weekend. With that in mind, Reid knows West Ham will not have it easy in the West Midlands.

"They are still a good side and we have to give them a lot of respect. We'll go there with a gameplan and hopefully bring some points home."

If Villa are to score against Reid and company on Sunday, the man most likely to do so is Belgium striker Christian Benteke. The 22-year-old has banged in 14 goals in all competitions since arriving from Genk last summer.

"I think he is a good striker and he has scored quite a few goals already in his first year in England," confirmed the No2. "We have to give him respect but we relish the opportunity as defenders to make sure they don't score."

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