Villa want more from Downing

07 January 2010 09:55
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is delighted with the form that summer signing Stewart Downing has shown since his recovery from a foot injury. The 25-year-old England winger has scored once in nine appearances for Villa following his arrival from Middlesbrough, but O'Neill feels that Downing is still short of full match fitness. He told the club's official website: "I have been very, very pleased with him. "I still think - even though he has played a number of games in quick succession, with no respite - that he is not fully wound up yet. "He has been out for a fairly lengthy time. He got off to great start, in the game at Burnley as a substitute. "He started against Portsmouth and scored, which will have given him a big boost of confidence. "But you know then that there will be a period where that lack of fitness overtakes him, particularly in the latter stages of games. That's why he's been substituted in a few matches. "But he's given everything. When he is fully wound up, he will be really excellent for us." Meanwhile, the rumour mill continues to link Villa with a move for Tottenham Hotspur's Irish forward Robbie Keane. Norway international John Carew is reported to be heading to White Hart Lane in a swap deal for the Spurs skipper.

Source: ESA

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