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O'Neill offers encouragement to Shorey

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12 Jan 2010 10:14:22

O'Neill offers encouragement to Shorey

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists he is not "actively looking" to sell full-back Nicky Shorey and believes the player can challenge Stephen Warnock for a first-team spot.

Shorey joined Forest on a three-month loan and has impressed during their rise into the top two of the Coca-Cola Championship. But O'Neill has not allowed him to play in the FA Cup - including Tuesday night's third-round replay at Birmingham - and feels he can still make an impact at Villa Park.

"Selling Nicky is not something that I am looking to do at this minute and nothing concrete has developed," said O'Neill.

"If there was an offer, I would sit down with Nicky and his agent to discuss it but I am not actively seeking (to sell him).

"Nicky thought when Stephen Warnock arrived that his chances would be limited at the time.

"But he is capable of fighting back. I think he is enjoying it immensely at Forest and he's playing which is what he wanted to do."

O'Neill has been keeping close tabs on how Shorey has been progressing at the City Ground and feels he can make an impression at Villa if he improves the defensive side of his game.

He said: "We've had people at every game he's played in and I've also got the matches on DVD.

"I think going forward he has done very well and if he tightens up his game defensively, he has loads to offer - and I think he has tried to do that."


PA

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