O'Leary set to rest McCann
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
David O'Leary concedes that he may have to rest midfielder Gavin McCann.Aston Villa manager David O'Leary concedes that he may have to hand influential midfielder Gavin McCann a break over the busy festive period.
The former Sunderland grafter has been troubled with a knee injury for the past couple of months but has battled on regardless, as cover is so thin in the Villa squad.
However, McCann has struggled to train in between matches and is unlikely to be able to play in all of Villa's games over the Christmas and New Year period.
With four matches in nine days, O'Leary concedes a period of rest is probably the best remedy for his worn-out midfielder.
"Will I consider resting McCann? Yes. I think he'll be getting to the stage pretty soon when he has to do that,'' confirmed O'Leary.
"You never know with Gavin. He will play with his head or his leg hanging off if it is possible. That's the kind of player he is.
"He has been terrific for us, the sort of player that doesn't get many headlines but is appreciated greatly by his team-mates.
"I need bodies for every game - and it's the same bodies - and I can't say which game or games he might be rested for.
"I've just got to say 'let's see how things are day-by-day' and take it from there but he has been struggling for a while and we've been wrapping him in cotton wool in between games."
Thomas Hitzlsperger is another absentee until the New Year with a thigh problem but lighter news comes in the return of Lee Hendrie from a three-game suspension.