Aston Villa's preseason preparations formally began last week with the team's 3-1 win over Mansfield Town. Although the Villans capitulated first, Darren Bent's brace and Gary Gardner's calm finish gave Villa the win in their first match of the summer.
It is dangerous to gleam too much information from the first few friendlies of the preseason. Many players are not fully fit, new signings are adjusting to a new atmosphere and the manager often fields unusual combinations of players who are unfamiliar playing with one another.
Nonetheless, dismissing preseason matches altogether is foolish. These games can offer glimpses of what to expect from the upcoming season, as well as answer lingering questions through the manager's actions in regards to certain players.
The Birmingham club's preseason campaign will continue this week with a pair of matches against MLS sides FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo. These encounters will pick up where the Mansfield clash left off by attempting to address some aspects of Paul Lambert's plans for this season.
Here are four questions for Aston Villa to answer during their preseason tour of Texas.