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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 11:24 GMT
O'Leary - I have no Plan B target
Aston Villa manager David O'Leary
Aston Villa boss David O'Leary claims he will not sign another striker after missing out on James Beattie.

Villa had a 6m offer for the striker accepted by Southampton, but Beattie opted to join Everton.

"I have been asked what Plan B is if we did not get James Beattie but there will be nobody else," he said.

"There is no contingency plan for another striker. Just because the January transfer window opens, you don't take people for the sake of it."

O'Leary has given Villa chairman Doug Ellis a list of four transfer targets as he seeks to strengthen one of the smallest squads in the Premiership.

But he admits he is not banking on any of his targets arriving at Villa Park.

"Forward-wise I don't think there is someone else out there," he said.

"I'd hope to bring someone in and I've given the board a list of four players but I don't think we'll get anyone in."

O'Leary has offloaded 16 players to reduce the wage bill at the club since his arrival 20 months ago, but he has not been able to reap the benefits.

Where we are now is where we are likely to be (at the end of the season)
David O'Leary
Big-money signings Bosko Balaban and Alpay left for nothing, while Peter Crouch, who joined Southampton for 2m, was the only player sold for financial reward.

Even that figure was less than half of the 4.5m paid to Portsmouth for Crouch's services two years earlier.

O'Leary said: "I know the wage bill has gone down drastically but I wish I could have raised more to put into the pot.

"It's fair to say that 2m doesn't go far or do a great deal these days."

Villa are currently ninth in the Premiership after one win in six games - but O'Leary claims he will be happy if that is the club's final position.

"Look at the teams who are above us," he said.

"Middlesbrough have spent loads, Tottenham have brought in 14 new players since I have been here and bought Defoe, Robinson and Kanoute.

"Why have Middlesbrough improved? They have got a wonderful chairman who has brought in Viduka, Hasselbaink and Ray Parlour.

"We have got a mid-table team who finished 16th the year before last then last year, with no injuries, came sixth but in general where we are now is where we are likely to be."

  • Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen has dismissed speculation that he will not play again this season following knee surgery.

    Laursen said: "Am I confident I will be able to play against this season. Of course. Will I play by March? Before then.

    "I am not that far away. The operated knee is fine. It is just the other small problems that I have had afterwards which have been irritating me."





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