McLeish: No major Villa intake

BY foxsports • July 19, 2011

McLeish is not expecting a succession of new arrivals despite the recent sales of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young for a total of around £35million. The Villa boss, who unveiled new recruit Shay Given on Tuesday, is instead looking for players from the club's academy, or those who have been frozen out under previous management, to fill the gaps left in his squad. He said: "We're trying to sign another one, and trying to replace the players who have left with players who are at the club. "For the time being, it will just be one and we'll be doing further assessment of the squad over the next few weeks. "I've seen terrific application on the training ground and really good quality from guys like Stephen Warnock and Stephen Ireland, for instance, who never really made as much of a contribution as you would expect. "Ireland hardly kicked a ball last season, but two years ago he looked like a world-class player. That's in him, the evidence is there. We've just got to bring that back out of him." The Villa boss is still chasing Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia, but is adamant that he will not pin all of his hopes on one player, especially after the Frenchman snubbed a move to McLeish's Birmingham last season. "We have to look at alternatives as well, we can't just hang our hat on one player," he said. "We have to be ready if we don't get the particular player that we're after." The former Rangers manager admitted that the club's emphasis on youth has been brought about by financial constraints. "We've got to pay respect to the players that are already at the club," he said. "At the same time, we've also got a wage bill to manage as well. "We can't just discard players that are on big wages and say 'right, we've had enough of you, I'm going to try someone else, but in the meantime you can have your wage every week'." "We've got to see if we can get the best out of these guys. "That's my job - to get the best out of those fellas who were a little bit dormant last season." However, McLeish said he was hopeful that the club's young stars would be able to make the transition to first team regulars. He said: "We've had a lot of the young players working with us over these past few weeks and they've been very impressive. "Some of them, like Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark and Barry Bannan, made the breakthrough last season. "We have a great academy, and it's a credit to the academy that those players are now on the verge of the first team."


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