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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Taylor takes swipe at Gregory
Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor
Taylor cut a dejected figure after the Liverpool defeat
Graham Taylor has criticised former Aston Villa boss John Gregory for the lack of spending power at the Midlands club.

Gregory spent 73m during his reign and Taylor now has limited funds under chairman Doug Ellis to try and bring in new players.

And the Villa boss, who was involved in a spat with an angry fan during the 1-0 loss to Liverpool on the opening day of the season, has responded by taking a swipe at Gregory.

"It would be nice to think there's 80m or whatever available - but that amount of money has been spent on teams here.

"I'm not just standing up for the chairman Doug Ellis, which is what people will say. But the money has been spent at this club and you can spend it only once."

  Gregory's big buys
Juan Pablo Angel 9.5m - Jury's out
Paul Merson 6.75m - Hit
Bosko Balaban 6m - Miss
Dion Dublin 5.75m - Hit
Alpay 5.6m - Hit
Steve Stone 5.5m - Miss
Olof Mellberg 5m - Jury's out
David Ginola 3m - Miss

Taylor knows his side is lightweight in midfield and is desperately trying to sign two players to fill that void before the transfer window closes on 31 August.

He has sold George Boateng to Middlesbrough for 5m and let Paul Merson and Peter Schmeichel leave on free transfers to generate funds.

Taylor has been linked with Ipswich's Matt Holland, Tim Sherwood of Tottenham, Leicester's Muzzy Izzet and Tim Cahill from Millwall.

But he said: "I'm not going to sign a midfielder for the sake of it.

"I know who we are looking for, even though the deadline is getting closer."

There were banners in the Villa Park stands against Liverpool asking 'Where's the ambition gone?' and demanding 'Ellis out'.

Taylor added: "There's not a major difference between us and Liverpool. It's a vital one but it's not as if there is a chasm between the two sides.

"I think we are in a similar position to when Gerard Houllier took sole control of the Liverpool team three years ago."

The former England manager has spent just 1.5m during the summer to sign Ulises De la Cruz.

But Taylor believes Villa are just outside the top four teams in the Premiership and has asked for time to break that monopoly.

"To get into that top four you need to improve and make some changes - and you can't do that quickly."

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