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By ESPN Staff

O'Neill backs Baros to find his form again

Martin O'Neill believes striker Milan Baros can still be a major asset for Aston Villa - if he can overcome a crisis of confidence.

Baros - Villa's leading scorer with 12 goals last season - is struggling to recapture his best form since returning from the foot injury suffered when on World Cup duty with the Czech Republic in the summer.

He found himself axed from the Villa side for several games before returning against Portsmouth on Saturday but is searching for his first goal of the campaign.

O'Neill has exercised great patience in continuing to publicly support a player who looked set to move to SV Hamburg in the close season and he will hope that faith is repaid.

O'Neill said: 'I am sure when Milan plays at international level, his confidence is fine. It's just taking it into the normal league games.

'It's about having the confidence to perform. He has won a Champions League medal.

'I think it is about Milan having the confidence to think, 'I am going to go past these players' and regain that confidence that he had when he played in certain spells at Liverpool.

'Confidence is so important. If players have got a bit of talent, confidence is everything.''

O'Neill admitted: 'You could trace it all back from his injury when he wasn't properly fit. Then he started a number of games and wasn't at his best.

'But Milan was almost like starting again. Each time he travels off to play international football he does very well so he will be a bit frustrated in many aspects.

'I have not seen the best of Milan Baros yet and it might be a case that Aston Villa haven't seen the best of him for one reason or another.

'He has come from Liverpool on the back of having won the Champions League. He came here in preference to Lyon and Gerard Houllier.

'I am sure he would have expected too have made a greater impact here, just for himself as much as anything else and for one reason or another it hasn't happened.

'But there is time for him to do it. Hopefully, now in the foreseeable future, that might happen.

'Milan Baros playing brilliantly would be an asset to us without a doubt. That goes without question.'