Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday December 29 2006
Young midfielder Isaiah Osbourne agreed terms on a new 2 1/2 year deal yesterday, not the 3 1/2 reported elsewhere.
Martin O'Neill says the 19-year-old has 'got potential' adding 'I am very pleased with the way he has played.'
'Young players do go up and down. For example, he played better at Everton than against Wigan the following week but that is only to be expected. He has now played four or five games at first team level and I am very pleased with him.'
O'Neill noticed Osbourne in a 'mix and match' game at Bodymoor and explained 'His hero is Patrick Vieira - not a bad one to aspire to! I like Isaiah. He's learning his trade and he is a good lad as well. His whole approach to the game is so refreshing and he's got really natural ability which is encouraging.'
Osbourne says of the Villa boss, 'He's given me a chance and I won't let him down. The gaffer has made a big difference. He saw something in me and was willing to give me a chance - that's all I ever wanted. I don't think I would have been given the chance before, but Martin O'Neill got me training with the senior squad early on and hopefully I'm repaying him.'
'I'm only just at the start of my career and I need to really develop my game. But I'm getting the chance to do that now and it's up to me. I'm obviously delighted to sign the new deal and it's been a fantastic few months for me. I came back in the summer determined this was going to be my year, but I don't think I expected things to go so well. It's been amazing.'
Date:Friday December 29 2006
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