O'Neill Looking At British First
Martin O'Neill has spoken on the official site about his efforts to bolster the Villa squad:
The Villa boss said: 'I've no doubts there are players there who are capable of stepping up (from the Championship) into the Premier League if you're able to take a chance on them. When I was at Leicester people overlooked Matt Elliott and Neil Lennon for ages and ages, so it's if people are willing to take that chance. Here at Villa, I need to be right all the time. I think there is a bit of fear. Let's say a player has been in the limelight for a year and no one has taken him. Then you get people asking 'why hasn't anyone taken him?' and then that becomes a genuine fear. But there are definitely players there in that league you'd look at.'
'Managers went abroad because when I was last in the Premiership - and to a certain degree when I was Celtic looking down here - because the players in the Nationwide League were too dear. You could be paying £2.5m for some boy who'd forced a corner. Hopefully it's reversed because I'd rather stay with a British mentality because it doesn't mean the top quality foreign player can adjust. Somewhere along the way there will be a player for us in the Coca Cola League and it's worth us stirring it to try to find out.'
Adding: 'Wherever they may come from, I would prefer, to tell you the truth, to stay British if I could- but don't hold me to that.'
He also says all the backroom team including Kevin MacDonald are all keen on helping in the search 'That's really good because every single one of them wants to go to games and do a report. So I think let's bring it all in and if there's a couple of players there who our boys think is half decent, then I'll try to scurry out to see him.'