Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday October 7 2008
Speculation in the press has linked Nigel Hokey-Cokey with a move back down South next summer. However, Hokey-Cokey has said he's perfectly happy here.
I'm not really sure where these rumours have surfaced, I generally have my head in the sand when it comes to the press thesedays, but Hokey has 3 years left on his contract so it's very unlikely he would be going anywhere even if he wasn't happy.
Anyway the nonsense in the press seems to suggest he will snub a new contract offer, which is just silly. 3 years left on his current deal and no negotiations have been planned yet, what exactly is there to snub?
Speaking to the Mail, Cokey revealed a potential reason for the rumours and said:
'I'm happy, I'm enjoying myself, I'm playing football week in, week out.
'I'm hitting form and that's all there is to say. If I wasn't happy I wouldn't be playing the way I have.
'I owe a lot to the fans since I've been here. I'm so grateful for that but I know what they could read into this now.
'Of all the times it could have appeared, it was right before the Chelsea game to disrupt Villa and to disrupt me.'
Sadly it seemed to work aswell.
'London is an hour-and-a-half from the Midlands. From a young age, I knew what it took to become a professional footballer.
'You have to live with it, going up and down the country. It is something you have to be open to do. If I didn't want to leave I wouldn't have left West Ham. I'm not stupid.'
If anything Coker seems committed to the club and would welcome a contract extension should O'Neill wish to offer one. He knows where we are heading and he's loving the Villa Park journey.
'I'm not throwing this away, I believe we can achieve something so this has been frustrating when we've been in the top four.
'I've got three years left, so there's no reason for the manager to give me a new contract. Other players have signed but that's down to them, some of them only have two years left.
'It's up to the manager if he wants to offer me a new deal, we haven't spoken about a contract. It's something I would welcome and it would be a big compliment, but I'm happy.'
If this was a well timed leak to disrupt our preparations for the Chelsea match, then that shows how seriously Villa are being looked at by others doesn't it.
It's also something we'll have to get used to and the squad will have to get used to dealing with. We weren't at the races against Chelsea, we just didn't turn up, now whether that was due to disruption or just one of those days that we seem to have regularly I don't know.
But if the former, then our team need to ignore the press before matches and concentrate solely on the task in hand.
We've made a decent start this season, it would be a horrific shame to blow that hard work by having our consistency blips again.
Date:Tuesday October 7 2008
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