Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday July 20 2006
Roy Aitken has been installed as caretaker boss as the crisis at Aston Villa continues.
Following the departure of David O'Leary last night, Aitken, just back from a health scare, has taken training at Bodymoor Heath this morning as Villa prepare for a pre-season friendly against Walsall tomorrow night at the Bescot Stadium.
today insisted the dramatic events of the last 24 hours will not have an adverse effect on Villa's pre-season preparations.
Aitken told the official site: 'I've spoken to the players this morning and told them we have to look to the future. We have to get on with the job in hand. The boys have worked very hard in training over the last two weeks and the mood is good. I know there have been reports of splits and things like that, but that's not what I'm seeing in the dressing room. You'll always get cliques. Sometimes these are based on nationality, sometimes on age or whatever, but that's been the same since I was a player and you get it at every club in the world.'
'What I know is that when the players come out to train and when they cross that line at Walsall, they're all pulling together.'
On the departed boss he said: 'I spoke to Dave last night and he was obviously disappointed, But he wished me all the best and passed on his best wishes to the players and the club. I've worked with Dave for a number of years - at Leeds and here at Villa - and I am personally sorry to see him go. But I've been involved in football long enough to know that these things happen and you have to move on.'
Aitken is currently 20/1 to be the next boss, on that subject he said:
'I've got my own track record in management up in Scotland. I won a trophy with Aberdeen and I know what the job is all about. I've had a lot of responsibility here at Villa over the last three years and I'm grateful to the club for the opportunity I've been given. I'm not fazed by this. Now I'll just concentrate on getting the players ready for the start of our pre-season games.'
Date:Thursday July 20 2006
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