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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 25, 2006

O'Leary still in dark over Villa's future

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary insists he has no talks scheduled to meet chairman Doug Ellis to discuss the club's future.

Hours before Villa's penultimate home game of a poor season when they could well finish with their lowest Premiership points tally, O'Leary revealed no-one has yet approached him for any discussions about future plans for strengthening the team this summer.

Nevertheless, the Irishman, who is looking to guide Villa to only their sixth home win in 18 games this season when they tackle Manchester City this evening, believes that the close season coming up could be a crucial time for Villa.

He said: 'The biggest thing for this club, the fans and myself, is the decision to be made this summer as to where Aston Villa are going.

'It is going to be the biggest summer for this club for a long, long time.

'I'm hoping that the decision about Villa's future is made sooner rather than later.

'But at the moment there are no plans for me to meet Doug Ellis because we are still waiting to see what is going to happen to the club.'

O'Leary was referring to the possible takeover of Villa, but Ellis is remaining tight-lipped on the subject - although it is obvious he still wishes to play a major role in the future plans at Villa Park.

O'Leary is unlikely to make any drastic changes to his side to host struggling City.

Juan Pablo Angel, Villa's record £9.5million signing, could well again be in the shop window after a season in which he has only made five starts in the last 19 games.

His last came in last week's 3-2 defeat at Wigan, where he scored to boost his confidence, which has sagged this season after being kept on the substitutes' bench for long periods.

O'Leary has dismissed any talk of Angel's unrest by stating: 'I pick a team of lads who are playing their best football. I am open and honest by telling the players who are in and who are out of the side.'

Referring to the Angel situation, O'Leary added: 'If there are any problems with how I select the team the players have the opportunity to discuss their situation with me.'

Angel himself is keen to make an impact in the closing three games of the season before holding talks in the summer over his future.

The Colombian international said: 'Even though we lost at Wigan it was great for me personally as I scored and played a full game.

'Hopefully, I can stay in the side and end the season on a high.

'I don't know what will happen in the future but it will be good to get a run for the remainder of the season.'

While Angel is set to continue in attack, it is possible that Villa might well have yet another new central defensive partnership with the return of skipper Olof Mellberg following a five-game absence with a hamstring injury.

In the game at Wigan the two central defenders were rookies Liam Ridgewell and Gary Cahill.

Cahill, 20, who is still hoping to sort out a new contract in the very near future, could well get the nod ahead of Ridgewell on this occasion, with O'Leary keen to observe how the youngster operates alongside the more experienced Mellberg.

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