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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 03:18 GMT 04:18 UK
O'Leary gets Villa job
Aston Villa's new manager David O'Leary
It's a club that I want to turn around and make it big again
David O'Leary
David O'Leary has been named as the new manager of Aston Villa.

He agreed a three-year contract with the Midlands club following discussions with Villa chairman Doug Ellis on Tuesday.

And the former Leeds boss immediately signalled his intent by declaring: "My aim is to get Villa in the Premiership top six in the next couple of years."

He replaces Graham Taylor, who resigned last week 15 months into his second spell in charge.

O'Leary said it felt "absolutely fantastic" to be back in management for the first time since his departure from Leeds in June last year.

"I've been waiting for the right opportunity with the right club and that has come along," the Irishman told BBC Radio Five Live.

"It's a club that I want to turn around and make it big again and I'm going to try and do that. I'm so happy.

"You have start putting the club back where it belongs - at the very top, get the crowds in and play good football and I'm looking forward to giving it my best shot."


O'Leary revealed: "We've been negotiating for the last four or five days and I appreciate how quietly Aston Villa conducted themselves," O'Leary added.

He becomes Villa's 10th manager in 20 years and will be expected to improve on the club's disappointing 16th-placed finish this season.

O'Leary took over as Leeds manager in 1998 and led the team to the Champions League semi-finals two years ago.

But he was sacked by the Elland Road club in June 2002 after failing to qualify for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.

The loss of revenue from European competition exacerbated Leeds' crippling debts.

O'Leary was linked with several jobs since Leeds showed him the door.

And the 45-year-old has now been given the opportunity to resurrect his managerial career at Villa.

I don't think it is a bad appointment
Ian Taylor
Aston Villa midfielder

However, it is unlikely that much money will be made available to him for transfers during the summer.

Instead, O'Leary may have to work with the club's current players, as well as the youngsters former boss Taylor had started to introduce into the first team before his exit.

Aston Villa midfielder Ian Taylor admitted to being taken aback by the speed with which the club named O'Leary as their new manager.

"I started laughing at first," Taylor said of the appointment.

"It's been a bit quick so there must have been a lot of wheeling and dealing going on.

"I don't think it is a bad appointment and maybe he can do the same at Villa as he did at Leeds before the wheels fell off there. But he's a good up-and-coming manager."

Aston Villa boss David O'Leary
"I'm looking forward to it"

Aston Villa's Mark Kinsella
"He'll have to wheel and deal in the summer"

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David O'Leary's career in pictures
27 Jun 02  |  Photo Galleries

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