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O'Neill cools Gabby talk
18 Nov 2006 - 10:57:16
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has tried to play down the growing clamour for Gabriel Agbonlahor to be introduced into the England set-up in the near future.
The 20-year-old has emerged as a major player for Villa this season and has also impressed for England's Under-21s side, sparking talk of a promotion to the senior ranks.
However, a cautious O'Neill commented: "I just think it is too early for Agbonlahor to be considered for England.
"I am delighted with him. I couldn't be more pleased with him. He has done well but it is far too early.
"I am not saying this applies to Gabby but, in general, you can get promoted after a few games to England international level, which is very big, and it can definitely affect you.
"You can suddenly start feeling you've arrived if you are only a kid, when you haven't even really learned your trade and you think 'I should be here and I should be playing for Manchester United or Real Madrid'.
"I would be loathe to stick any young kid who has only played a handful of games in the England squad.
"Gabby is an exciting player, he has been fantastic for us, but I would be loathe to do that. He has got loads of time to learn the game."