Martin O'Neill has singled out Villa skipper Gareth Barry for praise. The left sided midfielder/defender has earnt a late re-call to the England squad due to Gary Neville's injury and O'Neill said:
'I don't want to go around handing out accolades willy-nilly, and if anything I'd be inclined to withdraw them until we've won a couple more games, so let's hold on. That said, and I don't want to sound patronising or sycophantic, Gareth Barry has been the exception. He's proving that by being very close to the England squad, and that's some sort of recognition for how he's performed this season.'
'I don't mind speaking about Gareth Barry in glowing terms because he's earned it. There are some things that Gareth knows himself he can improve on in his game, and because he's only just turned 26 - which is phenomenal - hopefully he can do.'
Adding, on the man John Gregory advised to get more stuck in and to get his shorts more dirty, 'His attitude and willingness and courage in the games is there for all to see. Honestly, I think he's a terrific example for younger players here at this football club to attempt to follow. Gareth is by nature very quiet, almost to the point of having a public face of self-effacement. But you can't play like he does unless you've got some belief in your ability.'
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
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Err. The Vital Villa man of the match v Stoke City...
Manager Tim Sherwood has given his normal Monday briefing, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan has also given his thoughts as frustration reigns.
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