Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday December 20 2009
A report in the News of the World says that former Reading and Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell will stay and fight for his pace in the Villa team but that Martin O'Neill will allow Nigel Hokey-Cokey to leave in January if he can find a club.
The quotes in The Daily Star seem to argue with that as MON isn't looking to sell any players, or buy them apparently!
He said: 'At this minute I wouldn't see us being active in bringing players in over January. Things change - but as we speak I don't think we'll be bringing people in unless somebody has left the club. I know it is only round the corner, and January is a long month, but I have not had any discussions with the owner about what we might do. There's obviously interest in quite a number of my players, but I'd be loathe to see too many leave. You can't rule it out completely because it's always possible might get a couple of injuries to big players. But I wouldn't encourage anybody to expect anything.'
Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov says that we have enough strength in depth.
'I think the manager excepts we might need to rotate, he knows that. That is why we have so many players and we have got two teams equal here now so he can rotate without worrying about getting weaker.'
He says of January 'It is definitely strong (the squad) but Martin O'Neill always tries to improve the team and the chairman has been very supportive to the manager. I think if he adds something, it will be good for the team. It is a strong squad but the manager knows things change very quickly in football, injuries, suspensions. We will see. It will be interesting because, not just us, but other teams will try to strengthen as well so I hope we can get even stronger.'
Meanwhile former Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen who got a good reception yesterday when he returned with Stoke, says he thinks Villa can sustain their challenge on the top four.
'They have got a good team, a good balance, with maybe one more midfielder going forward with James Milner and Stiliyan Petrov sitting back a bit. It gives a lot of the players space and it is paying off at the moment.'
He also says that we are stronger than last season when we saw a collapse from February onward and that we have more quality.
Frustrating times for Emile Heskey, he's just found some decent form and now he has a groin injury. MON says he'll be scanned tomorrow: 'It is Emile's groin that is the problem although he was feeling a bit better after the game compared to when he came off. The doctor has had a look at it and he will have a scan tomorrow to see what has happened. We are hoping for the best but I won't really know until then.'
Date:Sunday December 20 2009
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