Date:Tuesday July 24 2007
Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has promised to put his summer England under-21 mix-up behind him and concentrate all of his efforts on performing better than ever for the club.
The 20-year-old hit the headlines prior to the European Under-21 Championship after he couldn't be tracked down by Stuart Pearce and subsequently missed the chance to play in the tournament. Villa boss Martin O'Neill stressed the issue was just a mix-up.
Agbonlahor is now focussing on holding down a regular first-team place and scoring more than the nine goals his did last season, when he made the breakthrough to the senior side. However, his goal tally will largely depend on whether he is asked to play out wide again and whether he is given the nod over new-signing Marlon Harewood.
Gabby told the Mirror: 'Some people will be expecting me to fail but I have to come back flying. My next big challenge is proving I can be a success in my second season but I'm ready to continue working hard to make sure I keep on improving.
'There is no chance of me falling back through lack of effort as doing well at Villa means a lot. I've got friends and family who support them as well people where I grew up.'
The speedy striker may have to make a tough decision off the pitch in the near future relating to his international career. Although Gabby has played for the England under-21 side, he is also eligible to play for Nigeria and Scotland. While he has previously stressed his ambitions lie with England, there have been reports that Scotland are trying to court him.
But wherever his future lies in the international arena, at least Villa have one on the hottest young prospects in the Premier league - a prospect that could go on to become on of the finest players of his generation.
Date:Tuesday July 24 2007
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