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John Gregory speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live
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Thursday, 4 May, 2000, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Gregory nets new Villa deal
John Gregory (left) is set to net 1m a year
John Gregory has agreed a new contract with Aston Villa, which will keep him at the club until 2003.

The deal is understood to be worth 1m a year and Gregory hopes to celebrate by leading Villa to their first FA Cup final success in 43 years against Chelsea later this month.

"The Villa board have shown their faith in me," Gregory said.

We have made progress over the last two years and the challenge is to build on that

John Gregory
"I am a much better manager now than the guy they gambled on just over two years ago and I hope I can prove that."

Gregory, who had an earlier spell as a Villa coach, returned to the club in February 1998 to replace Brian Little.

He steered the club into Europe in his first season in charge and, this term, has guided them to the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup and the final of the FA Cup against Chelsea on 20 May.

Aston Villa face Chelsea in the FA Cup final
He has ambitious long terms plans for the club and feels the extra security of a new deal will give him the time to develop his team.

"We have made progress over the last two years and the challenge is to build on that," Gregory said.

"Successful teams do not happen overnight. They take three to five years to develop and that is my challenge now.

"The target has to be getting into the Champions League and I want Villa to have done that by the end of the contract.

"We have to be in the hunt for trophies each year, although that gets harder and harder because of the level of competition we are up against. It is still the measure of a successful team."

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