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Hendrie In Or Out?

David O'Leary has suggested Hendrie might not keep his place despite starting for Villa against Newcastle. Hendrie has suffered from injuries and suspensions this season and has said he has felt very low at times. He has never had such a lengthy lay off and if what O'Leary suggests is true, the links to Southampton and Wolves might just grow. Hendrie said 'I was pretty nervous coming into the game. For a 28-year-old who has played so many games, it was a big thing. But it has been on my mind. I knew there was pressure on me coming into the team having not started a game until December. I've felt like crying at times. I was talking to Gareth Barry about it before the game and told him I've never had a run like this out of the team.

O'Leary said: 'He's got a chance, but you've got to remember there have been a lot of lads who have been playing over a long period - and it wasn't as if James Milner was injured. Lee Hendrie isn't out of the team because he's a bad player - he's out of the team because good players have been playing well.'

He also says he wants competition for places in the squad 'Competition is what I'm trying to create here. Lee's had to wait, but he hasn't moaned and he's got on with it and I'm delighted for him.'

Hendrie had hoped the start last weekend would 'kickstart' his season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Glenn Hoddle has been linked to a transfer window swoop for the 28 year old midfielder. Wolves failed in a loan bid for Hendrie, as did Southampton but the latest quotes appear to suggest Hoddle might test Villa's resolve in keeping the midfielder. Hoddle said ''He is a good player and I admire him. 'We have spoken about Lee before. When the January sales are on we will have a look at strengthening the team.''

Hendrie would surely be reluctant to leave Aston Villa when he has a testimonial next year?

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 5 2005

Time: 9:06PM

 

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