Helenius off the mark for Villa
Aston Villa, Updated:
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Nicklas Helenius' debut goal in the 1-1 draw against SV Rodinghausen was a boost for Villa after Christian Benteke's transfer request.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert snapped up the highly-rated Denmark international striker on a three-year deal from AaB Aalborg last month for an undisclosed fee.
Helenius is one of numerous new faces who have been drafted into Villa Park this summer as the side look to push on from last season's relegation battle and move up the table.
And, following Belgium international Benteke's transfer request earlier in the week bringing down the feel-good factor at the club, Helenius went some way to restoring it when he scored a near-post header from Matt Lowton's cross on the hour mark following a quiet start to Wednesday night's pre-season friendly.
Soren Siek then levelled for the home side as Lambert gave his other new signings, Aleksandar Tonev, Jores Okore, who picked up a knock in the game, Leandro Bacuna, Antonio Luna and Jed Steer, some match time.
Villa's Germany tour will continue with games against SC Paderborn and VFL Bochum as Lambert stresses that results are meaningless because he is just aiming to build up the side's fitness levels for the Premier League opener on August 17.
"The main thing for me is not the result, it's to get them at a fitness level where you're hoping they'll be ready," he said.
"There's things to work on and improve on, this is only our first game for a right few months. You can play as many friendlies as you want but when it starts for real it's a totally different game."