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By ESPN Staff
Sep 26, 2006

Palace, QPR loan for Villa outcast Hendrie?

Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie is in demand by QPR and Crystal Palace who both want to sign him on loan.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill has confirmed the interest in the 29-year-old from the two Coca-Cola Championship clubs, both managed by men who have worked with him before.

Palace boss Peter Taylor was in charge of the England Under-21s when he selected Hendrie, who also played for QPR's John Gregory when he was manager of Villa.

Hendrie made only a handful of starts last season because of the form of on-loan Newcastle player James Milner, and injury niggles have seen him slip down the pecking order during the early weeks of O'Neill's reign.

The Villa boss is happy for Hendrie to temporarily leave the midlands club to get some much-needed games under his belt.

O'Neill said: 'There are a number of teams who are looking to take Lee on loan. John Gregory has inquired about him and Crystal Palace have maintained an interest

'He played for the reserves on Monday night, and we will see how fit he is because it is all about games with him.

'If he wants to give himself a chance of getting into the first team then he'll want to get himself as fit as possible.

'I wasn't the one who instigated the possibility of him going out on loan. It seemed as if his agent wanted that. But even so, I am not in disagreement with him because he can go - wherever that may be - and get games.'

O'Neill has challenged Hendrie to regain the form he showed three years ago during David O'Leary's first season as manager of Villa - and then he will involve him in his first team plans.

He said: 'Because of injuries, Lee came out and played only an hour of the final match of this summer's pre-season tour in Holland, so it was difficult for me to assess him.

'What Lee was capable of doing a two or three years ago, that's what he has to try and get back to. If he is capable of getting back to that he will be in the team.

'He didn't play much last year. I don't know what the reasons are. It's up to him. I will leave the door open for people. It's up to them to do it. I can only assess what they do on the field of play.'