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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

O'Neill won't be rushed as window closes

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill will refuse to make any panic buys in the final 72 hours of the January transfer window.

O'Neill has still to make a signing this month even though he has the smallest squad in the Premier League.

He has been linked with a host of players, including Jermain Defoe and Henrik Larsson, as Villa look to step up their bid for a European spot by bringing in new blood.

But O'Neill will not sign anyone permanently just for the sake of increasing numbers and would rather take people on loan as a short-term remedy.

He said: 'We wouldn't be the only team looking to make moves. Whether it becomes an eventful last three days or not, is really in the lap of the gods. It genuinely is.

'It is a difficult time. Premiership sides are looking to push on and want to supplement their squads. I hear Liverpool say that they want to push on and add players to their team.

'We are, in terms of numbers, a little bit short. What we want to try to do is safeguard the situation.

'If you could tell me that we could go through the whole season without injury, now that we are down to one game a week, then fine, but you could lose three players in a week.

'It is a tough old time but I am not asking for an ounce of sympathy because it is a tough old time for all the Premier sides.'

O'Neill added: 'Will I sign no-one at all? 'Anything is possible. We are looking every single day. New names are thrust upon us every day.

'But what I don't want, generally speaking, are new names that I don't know an awful lot about - unless they are short-term affairs, players in on loan where there is really no risk.

'Loans can supplement the squad, boys who have got a wee bit of quality.'

O'Neill continues to be linked with a £2.2million move for 23-year-old keeper Brad Guzan, who plays for MLS side Chivas and has been on trial at Celtic.