Young stars need support

O'Neill seeks old heads after signing of Delph

August 7, 2009

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill will look to sign experienced players before the end of the transfer window after capturing Leeds teenager Fabian Delph.

O'Neill believes 19-year-old Delph is ready to challenge for a first-team spot and also has faith in young players already at the club such as Marc Albrighton who sparkled in the Peace Cup.

But he is aware of the need to also bring in a couple of old heads with Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin remaining on his radar.

O'Neill said: "I was pleased with the contribution of all the younger players at the Peace Cup in Spain.

"They were called upon to perform major tasks which I am sure they wondered if they were up to themselves at such a young age.

"Every single one of them stepped into the breach and did fantastically. Marc had a great tournament and we've now also got Fabian Delph who is a great prospect.

"But the Premier League is particularly difficult. To give us a chance this season, I not only want some promising players in but also established players.

"The squad is essentially young so I'd like to add a bit of experience to it."

O'Neill denied reports that young striker Nathan Delfouneso was offered to Leeds on loan as part of the Delph deal.

He said: "It's absolute nonsense. Nathan is not going out on loan. We have games to play and he is going to be part of proceedings.

"He has a real quality future ahead of him. I think he has the ability."