Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday September 5 2007
The official site today says that Martin O'Neill is looking to get Denmark international defender Martin Laursen tied to a longer contract.
The former AC Milan defender has just one year left on his current Villa contract and has proved early on this season exactly why David O'Leary brought him to the club. Since his arrival he has had no luck with injuries and fought back from one career threatening knee injury. Hopefully he is now through that and we'll see the same man-of-the-match performance every game!
Villa boss Martin O'Neill said: 'If Martin Laursen was fit, agile and 22, with that sort of attitude you'd be looking at giving him 10 years. He's proving himself here and I've got absolutely no problems sitting down and discussing the future with him. He knows that and I've already spoken to him. When he comes back from international duty, I'll speak with him. Laursen has got a heart the size of a lion. His knees have sometimes been swollen, but he plays and never shirks anything.'
Dodgy knee's certainly never held Paul McGrath back did they?!
O'Neill added on avfc.com, 'We expect Martin to win things in the air for us and when he heads the ball clear, it stays clear. He does really great and throws himself at everything. He's been terrific for us and I'm very pleased with him. His attitude has been absolutely superb and his ability to head the ball has been great. And I think we've been better for it. He's always played well for us and I think he's been outstanding, magnificent.'
Meanwhile Olof Mellberg says the defence is the key to the early season success for Villa.
The Sweden international, who played at right-back against Chelsea, said:
'We were solid on Sunday. We played with three centre-halves and Freddie has played centre-half for Holland as well. That made the back four a little bit more solid. I think that was important, especially at the end of the game, when they threw everything at us. The whole team take credit for the result and for the clean-sheet. That's always the case. It's a team performance.'
Adding, 'If we don't work as a team defensively it's really difficult for us at the back to keep a clean-sheet. So it's all about working hard as a team.'
He also agrees with skipper Gareth Barry saying the win against Chelsea was great but Villa now have to build on that.
Date:Wednesday September 5 2007
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