O'Neill rejects Pearce fall out

03 April 2008 08:49
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has denied reports of a bust-up with England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce concerning the treatment of Craig Gardner. O'Neill was unhappy that the Villa midfielder was not substituted quicker during last week's under-21 clash with Poland despite complaining of injury. The 21-year-old missed last weekend's 4-0 defeat at Manchester United with a thigh problem, but O'Neill claims he doesn't hold Pearce responsible. Nigel Reo-Coker had to be employed as a makeshift right-back at Old Trafford as Gardner had been deputising in the back four in recent weeks. "There hasn't been any spat," O'Neill told the club's official website. "I was disappointed that he got injured in a game that was really meaningless. "I've not had any run-ins with Stuart Pearce, he's trying to do his job. "If anyone at the FA wants to enquire after the health of Craig Gardner that's alright, but I won't be chasing anybody."

Source: ESA