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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Villa can't afford Bakke bid

David O'Leary has admitted Aston Villa cannot afford to make Eirik Bakke's move from Leeds into a permanent deal during the January transfer window.

Bakke has been on loan from Elland Road for the first half of the current campaign with that agreement due to run out on January 31.

O'Leary is keen to extend the stay of the Norway international until the end of the season but acknowledges Bakke will have to return to the Whites if they demand a permanent move goes through at this juncture.

O'Leary said: 'Eirik is on loan until the end of January and I'd like that loan to continue to the end of the season. Only time will tell if we can do that.

'It is about the clubs getting together. Eirik says he wants to stay here to the end of the season.

'But if Leeds want us to buy Eirik now or make a commitment like that, he would have to go back because I'm not in a position to do that.'

O'Leary quite simply has no funds for new signings this month even if he offloads an unsettled player such as Lee Hendrie, Mark Delaney or Ulises de la Cruz.

He said: 'If anyone does go out, the money won't be used for me to come up with somebody. That's the way things are with the chairman (Doug Ellis). I respect that. He is the boss.'

Meanwhile, O'Leary is calling for his players to be 'in the faces' of Saturday's opponents Tottenham who defeated Villa 5-1 in the corressponding fixture at White Hart Lane last season.

The Villa chief is looking for a positive response after Saturday's home reversal by West Ham - only their second defeat in the last 10 league games.

He said: 'What we can't do is fall down and not roll our sleeves up and be in their faces. We did that to Arsenal but not to Manchester United. We stepped back and said `you are a great team, go and play'.

'What I want when we play these teams is to be in their faces and then let's see how great they are. If they still beat us then we can hold our hands up after that.'

O'Leary is also demanding no repeat of last season's mauling which ended Villa's last lingering hopes of securing a UEFA Cup place.

He said: 'We were poor that day. We gave away too many soft goals and we were too easy to play against. In general, the players have given me everything but they let themselves down then.'

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