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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2006

O'Leary vows to fight on at Villa Park

David O'Leary has insisted he is the right man to revive Aston Villa's fortunes as speculation continues to mount over his future.

Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is reported to be a possible successor to O'Leary in the summer if chairman Doug Ellis decides to wield the axe.

O'Leary has admitted the 2005/06 campaign has been a big disappointment with Villa in the bottom six of the Premiership and a section of supporters calling for his removal after three years at the helm.

That anger will grow if Villa flop in their next two matches - home derbies with the relegation-threatened duo of West Brom and Birmingham.

But the former Leeds boss is convinced he can revitalise the midlands club if given financial backing to bring in quality players alongside the crop of promising youngsters at his disposal.

O'Leary said: 'My playing and managerial record is all about being at the top of the league, we are fifth from bottom - and I don't like that. It leaves a bad taste.

'I came into this season wanting a good season at the other end of the table where I belong, where I have been and where I want this club to be.

'This year we have fallen below the standards of the past two seasons, when we finished in the top 10, for various reasons that I can't go into. Everyone is frustrated.

'This season has been disappointing and that's what makes me more determined in the summer to put it right. I will put it right because I know how to put it right.

'We've got to do the best with what we've got until the end of the season and see what the summer brings to hopefully push this club to where it should be.'

O'Leary is targeting a 'big James Beattie type of centre-forward' as well as strengthening the heart of his defence.

He also wants to sign on-loan Newcastle midfielder James Milner, currently sidelined with a virus, on a permanent basis.