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Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 22:50 UK

Martin O'Neill keen to continue as Aston Villa manager

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I have Lerner's backing - O'Neill

Martin O'Neill has reiterated his desire to continue as Aston Villa boss ahead of talks with owner-chairman Randy Lerner at the end of the season.

In an attempt to clarify his position, amid continuing rumours that he is ready to quit the club, O'Neill issued a statement on Villa's website.

"I have a yearly rolling contract and I hope to continue to do a job," he said.

"Every summer I have discussed the season with my chairman. This summer will be no different."

The 58-year-old had earlier on Thursday told BBC Radio 5 live there would be a "number of determining factors" dictating whether or not he stays at the Premier League club.

"Aston Villa supporters will play a part, the chairman will play a big part because he is my employer," he said.

"And I will also play a part in proceedings because it's my future."

O'Neill said there was no truth in internet rumours from earlier in the week suggesting he was ready to quit Villa which followed claims he was unhappy with Lerner's transfer policy.

"There is not an ounce of truth in the story that I have had a fall-out with Randy Lerner. In fact, he called me earlier in the week to see where these stories were coming from," stated O'Neill.

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"He was pretty surprised and also very supportive and it was good to hear that. I have been delighted with the investment put into the club. I have been allowed to invest £80m on players.

"If the chairman decided to sell, and he has no intention of doing so, then he could get his money back with interest on four or five of those players.

"It is nonsense to say that I want to walk away now. There is still so much to play for and there is a renewed determination to see it through.

"I will assess everything at the end of the season. I will sit down with the chairman and see where we are going. I am contracted on a yearly basis and would hope to continue."

O'Neill joined the West Midlands club at the start of the 2006-07 season and the nearest he has come to winning a trophy with them came when he took Villa to this year's Carling Cup final. The team lost 2-1 to Manchester United.

They do, however, retain a chance of sealing a top-four finish which would take them into the Champions League next season, and face an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Villa will look to bounce back from a recent 7-1 league defeat at Chelsea when they visit Bolton on Saturday. They appear to be losing their momentum, with three points from a possible 15 in their last five league games.

But O'Neill said he remained positive: "I have been here four years, and four years ago the club was in a pretty depressed state. I still have the energy and vitality of someone who is 15 years younger and that zest has kept me going.

"In terms of the Champions League, we are going to give it a go as long as it is possible and I expect a positive response from the players after what happened at Chelsea."



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see also
Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland
24 Mar 10 |  Premier League


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