O'Neill - Shorey still in plans

04 September 2009 03:34
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has denied forcing Nicky Shorey out of the club and insists he still has a future at Villa Park.[LNB] The 28-year-old defender was on the cusp of signing for struggling Portsmouth on the last day of the transfer window, but negotiations fell through at the last minute.[LNB]With fellow left-back Stephen Warnock joining Villa for £8million, Shorey's position at the club looked in doubt, but O'Neill insists he can still fight for his place.[LNB]"Does he have a part to play?" he told the Birmingham Mail. "Of course. I think Nicky and his agent kind of pre-empted things a little bit by thinking he was not going to play.[LNB]"I had certainly not been pushing him out but something came up and they wanted to explore that. I gave them that opportunity but it didn't come off.[LNB]"Nicky wants to come back here and really fight for a place in the side.[LNB]"We have Warnock and then Freddie to come back so there's options, which will be very important between now and January."[LNB]SigningsO'Neill spent £40million on new players during the transfer window, bolstering his squad with the signings of Stewart Downing, Stephen Warnock, Fabien Delph, Richard Dunne, James Collins and Habib Beye.[LNB]And the Villa boss insists his squad is in a stronger position now than it was at the start of the last campaign, despite the loss of key players Gareth Barry and Martin Laursen.[LNB]"Am I happy with my overall business?" he said. "I couldn't be more pleased. I think we have strengthened the side.[LNB]"I have got that extra defensive strength I was looking for plus Fabien Delph will be a really fine player for us - and Stewart Downing already is a fine player.[LNB]"I think Richard Dunne and James Collins will help us immensely. We looked a bit thin at the back and we used the fewest players in the league last year.[LNB]"We've lost two really fine players in Gareth Barry and Martin Laursen, they will be hard to replace but in time we will get stronger." [LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports