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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 27, 2007

Bardsley eager for permanent Villa switch

Phil Bardsley would be happy to secure a long-term future at Aston Villa after insisting the midlands club can still qualify for Europe.

Bardsley is confident Villa are 'moving in the right direction' under Martin O'Neill after years in the doldrums.

He has been impressed with January signings John Carew and Ashley Young while off the pitch a new £8million training ground, a few hundred yards from the current one at Bodymoor Heath, will be completed by the summer.

Bardsley said: 'I think Villa have their foot in the garden now and I honestly believe we are moving the right direction.

'This is a club that has been in the wilderness for too long but I think it is time that Villa, with the stadium that they have, the training ground they are building, and the players they are bringing in, are moving forward.'

Villa ended an 11-game run without a win in the Premiership with victory over Watford last weekend after being third in November and Bardsley believes they can quickly reclimb the table.

He said: 'When I see the quality of our squad and I look at where we are in the league table, it does not seem right. We should be higher up.

'But every team suffers a dip in confidence and we had that. Look at other teams, like Manchester City, who are doing okay now after a poor run.

'It happens. I am sure we will put a few results together and rise up the table. I think we will soon be pushing for a European spot, even this season. It is not out of the question.'

Bardsley, who previously had a loan spell with Rangers, is initially with Villa until the end of the season

But he insisted: 'If my future is to be at Aston Villa, I would be happy with that. It depends on whether the manager wants me here or not. I will have to see how it pans out.'