Aston Villa news

Villa boss O'Neill hints that Carew will stay

April 23, 2009

Martin O'Neill has hinted John Carew will remain at the club for next season - after suggesting all three of his main strikers could play in the same team.

There has been speculation linking 13-goal striker Carew with a move away from Villa in the summer.

He upset O'Neill earlier in the campaign when he was spotted at a Birmingham club in the early hours ahead of a UEFA Cup clash with Ajax and was disciplined.

But Carew has been in sparkling form since his return from a back injury and O'Neill can see the Norwegian international, Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor forming a potent partnership.

O'Neill said: ''We've got Gabby, we've got Emile and we've got John. We look, if they stay fit, as if we have a potent threat - not only for the back end of this season, but next season and going forward.

''All three, if they can stay fit for next season, will definitely pose problems in whichever order we play - including all three of them at the same time.

''Emile did great against West Ham last weekend although he got very tired after missing the previous couple of weeks through injury.

''John is very, very strong at the moment and with Gabby coming back from injury, these three can only add to their goal tally. I am delighted with our play going forward in general.''

Agbonlahor could be fit to return for the weekend trip to Bolton Wanderers after missing the 1-1 draw with the Hammers through a hamstring injury.

O'Neill said: ''Gabby is improving. He did a bit of light stuff in the early part of this week and we will now see how he is over the next couple of days. But he is making progress.''