Villa determined to keep stars
Martin O'Neill admits he will have a battle to keep hold of top stars James Milner and Ashley Young.
Last Updated: 17/04/10 2:30pm
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admits he will have a battle to keep hold of top stars James Milner and Ashley Young.
The last few weeks have seen Milner linked with Manchester United, whilst Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are both said to be keeping tabs on Young.
And O'Neill admits that the two England internationals have matured wonderfully over the previous 12 months.
"I wouldn't be surprised if James Milner and Ashley Young would have attracted attention from the very best clubs here and abroad," said O'Neill in the Sun.
"I rate them that highly. The two have matured. They have grown into it here.
"Milner's performance against Everton this week was extraordinary.
"He has been brilliant this season. I think both of them would grace any side. I'd say that the pair have served the club brilliantly. I think the club has served them brilliantly too.
"They have had a chance here to play week-in, week-out and showcase their ability.
"They have improved here immensely. Milner has been a revelation. Sensational. He has stepped infield 20 yards and just been fantastic.
"He has the energy, the determination and, more importantly, the ability. He's in the centre of that midfield and looks like he's played there since he was 16.
"Somewhere else they might be forced into a more rotational system. And at the minute that would be a consideration. Most players want to play every week.
"I went to watch Manchester United at Wigan. And it was eye-opening looking at the United players sitting in front of me, not even on the subs' bench.
"That's why they have the squads to cope at the business ends of the season. I'd like them to stay here and see if we can break into that bracket."