O'Neill: Success will take time

January 25, 2007

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has warned that new signings Ashley Young and John Carew will not 'change our fortunes overnight'.

Young finally moved from Watford in a £9.65million deal earlier this week while Norway international striker Carew arrived from Lyon in a swap deal with Milan Baros.

Young, 21, signed for an initial £8million but could eventually become Villa's record signing with further add-ons of £1.65 million relating to appearances and making the breakthrough at international level.

O'Neill, taking advantage of the extra spending power afforded by American billionaire Randy Lerner's takeover last summer, is delighted with his double capture as he looks to guide Villa back up the table from 14th.

Unveiling his new signings, O'Neill said: 'I've known and followed John's career for a long time. He's been a very good player throughout Europe in his career and he's still very young, at 27.

'I have the utmost regard for him as a player and I'm delighted to have this opportunity.

'I'm very, very pleased Ashley has come. We talk about blinding potential and I think he has it. I've seen a lot of him and I'm backing my judgement that he will have a brilliant career.

'I think he'll be a terrific player. I think he'll blossom, he's done wonderfully well at Watford.

'I feel with this type of ability in our team we can only look forward.'

At a media conference, televised by Sky Sports News, O'Neill added: 'But not for one minute would I think he's going to change our fortunes overnight. He will take time to settle and so will John.'

Young had been attracting interest from several quarters but the England Under-21 international believes he is joining a club going places.

'The manager has believed in me, he has paid the money and I've got to return the favour. It's a very ambitious club, I can't wait to get out there and play.

'I believe in the ambition that the club and manager have got in pushing for the top six and Europe and I want to be a part of that.

'There were bids from other people but I believe Villa is the right place for me.'

Carew's previous clubs include Valencia, Roma and Besiktas as well as Lyon but the 6ft 4ins powerhouse believes the Premiership is the biggest test of his career.

'I've been playing around Europe and the Premiership is something that I wanted to do for a long time,' he said.

'I've been lucky to play in the big leagues of Europe but not the biggest yet so I'm very happy to be here.

'I'm quite big so my physique is one of my strengths, and I hope it's a championship that suits me. I'll do my best to show I can play here.'