O'Neill backs Reo-Coker
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Martin O'Neill feels Nigel Reo-Coker will soon break into the England squad.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill believes new signing Nigel Reo-Coker has what it takes to break into the England squad.
Reo-Coker recently arrived at Villa Park, following an £8.5million move from West Ham, and he has immediately received glowing praise from O'Neill.
The midfield man was captain of the England Under 21 team that reached the semi-finals of the European Championship in June.
However, the 23-year-old is now ineligible for the Under 21 side and O'Neill feels Reo-Coker should be looking to push for the senior set-up.
"Now his driving ambition is to play for the seniors," said O'Neill.
"The only way he can achieve that is by playing consistently well for Aston Villa to an extent where the England manager [Steve McClaren] cannot afford to ignore form.
"There's definitely room for Nigel in the squad.
"Maybe not right at this minute because England possess some of the finest midfielders in Europe without any question.
"It's a formidable midfield, especially with Owen Hargreaves back in the fold, but I feel that Nigel is capable of breaking into that."
O'Neill, who also backed Villa's Gareth Barry to earn an England recall, is sticking to his word that he will continue to hunt for new faces to bring to the Midlands.
The Villa boss is tracking Tunisian striker Ziad Jaziri, who plays for Troyes in France, and has reportedly made enquiries about his availability.