Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday September 16 2006
Martin O'Neill has assured Lee Hendrie that he does have a place in the squad.
The 29-year-old midfielder has said he would rather play for Villa but might have to look for a loan move if he doesn't get a chance to get back into the first team but O'Neill told Sky Sports News 'I don't think he's looking for alternatives.' and explained:
'There was a call from his agent who asked whether he could go out on loan. Lee wasn't available this week because he had an injury and he didn't travel with us last week, and he didn't play in the reserve game on Tuesday. But the injury is clearing up, so that's fine. I can understand it, he needs to get games. He missed a bit of pre-season as well too. I don't think he's looking for alternatives, I think he possibly sees this as a way to try and get fit, and try and fit quickly.'
'Then again, if you go away on loan, I think you have to throw yourself into the cause of that particular team because you wouldn't be doing the manager of the team a great service, if that was the case. But we are not in a position here to discard players because we are not good enough to discard players, at this moment. The side is far from settled because there's always room in the team. Perhaps he might think that four weeks away, which I think you can do, to get first-team games for someone would be a good idea. I'm not really adverse to that, at this moment, because it is a way of getting players fit. But Lee is never a million miles away from the first team.'
'Once he gets properly fit, I think if he can recover the sort of form that made him really a top-quality player a couple of seasons ago, then he would be an asset to us. It's up to everyone to fight to try and get into the side.'
Date:Saturday September 16 2006
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