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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 16 hours ago
Read
Feb 1, 2011

Bradley out to impress at Villa

Michael Bradley said he believes he has the qualities to be a success in the Premier League after sealing a loan move to Aston Villa for the rest of the season.

• Villa secure loan for Bradley
• Blog: January a turning point for Houllier
• Forum: Window winners and losers?

Bradley, who has been an important player for Bundesliga strugglers Borussia Monchengladbach this season, is a full United States international and the son of national team coach Bob Bradley.

The 23-year-old said: "I am a midfielder who likes to give everything he has for the team. I can attack and defend and impose myself in the centre of the field. I will do whatever it takes to help the team be successful.

"When you look at football nowadays, to have midfielders who can get forward, get in the box and get goals, that's important too and I try to do that. I have watched all sorts of games from when I was little and watched midfielders obviously.

"The one I looked up to was Roy Keane and the job he did at Manchester United. The way he was able to be the engine and heart of their team and help them be successful was something to aspire to.

"You watch the Premier League games and right away the speed and power of the game comes across. That's what sets the Premier League apart from any other in the world. To be part of that and be here and test myself in that environment, will be great.

"In each step along the way I have tried to improve myself as a player, take something each day into the matches and work hard. Now I have to take the experience I have gained along the way and use it as I get going in England.''

Meanwhile, manager Gerard Houllier says he has never considered seeking a replacement for veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who will become the oldest player to appear for the club on Tuesday night.

Friedel will surpass the record of 39 years and 257 days set by Ernie Callaghan in 1947 when he plays against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The American is out of contract in the summer and will sit down with Houllier to discuss his future at the end of February.

But there have been few signs of his form diminishing as Villa look to build on a run of just one defeat in the last seven games.

Houllier said: "Brad should be a role model. He's a top-class professional. He looks after himself, he trains hard and does even more in terms of yoga and things. He loves the game and wants to win. He's also a very reassuring figure in the dressing room because he's consistent.''

Regarding Friedel's possible retirement, Houllier added: "I told him that at the end of February we'll have a first assessment. I said to him 'we're not looking at goalkeepers until we can make an assessment on what level you're at'.

"He's quite happy with that. I'm quite happy with him. I think he's done well. If I was not happy with him I would have bought a goalkeeper now, which has never crossed my mind.''

Villa came close to ending United's unbeaten record earlier in the season when they led 2-0 with just 15 minutes remaining before the Red Devils earned a 2-2 draw. Houllier also takes heart from his good record against United when in charge of Liverpool.

He said: "First of all, every manager likes to play at Old Trafford. It is true I had a good record with my former club in England. But I think the game against them at Villa Park is the one I remember. We could have been three or four up before they came back and equalised.''

Villa's £18 million club record signing, striker Darren Bent, will return after being cup-tied for the FA Cup fourth-round triumph over Blackburn at the weekend.

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