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By ESPN Staff

Bakke loss disappoints Villa boss O'Leary

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary is unlikely to bring in another loan signing to replace Eirik Bakke after revealing his disappointment at failing to retain his services until at least the end of the season.

Bakke has returned to Leeds after a four-month spell at Villa with the club claiming it was 'not viable' to keep the Norwegian international.

O'Leary has a small squad but hinted the likelihood of another players being brought in before the January transfer window closed was not probable.

He said: 'I don't think there's really much out there. So I think what we have is what we'll go with until the end of the season.

'I'm very disappointed about Eirik. The bottom line is that I wanted to keep him. But it's not happened and that's all I can say about it.

'I think he's done well in some games, like the Bolton draw. Wherever he goes, I think he'll be a really good player.'

Aston Villa fans and shareholders have already admitted to being 'baffled' by the failure of Villa to extend Bakke's stay.

Shareholders Association chairman Jonathan Fear said: 'If we get another one or two injuries, there is plenty of the season left for us to be sucked back into a relegation battle.

'The Bakke situation is baffling. The manager has made it clear he wanted to keep the player and the chairman (Doug Ellis) has done the opposite.'

O'Leary will not rush striker Kevin Phillips back into senior action after he scored for the reserves in midweek against Birmingham - his first game after seven weeks out with an ankle problem.

He said: 'Kevin came through an hour and a bit. He's a bit stiff so he'll have a rest day of massage and stretching. Then he'll train tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

'Hopefully then he'll have a full game on for the reserves (against Manchester City) on Tuesday. If he comes through that game and there's no reaction, we hope to be looking at him on the bench for the Port Vale game in the FA Cup.'