Guzan progress pleases O'Neill

Villa boss hails American shot-stopper

Guzan: Limited opportunities

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Martin O'Neill admits he is fortunate to have a goalkeeper of the calibre of Brad Guzan in reserve.

The American is currently behind countryman Brad Friedel in the Villa Park pecking order, forced to make do with sporadic appearances in cup competitions.

Friedel is set to make his 200th consecutive appearance in the Premier League should he start against Everton on Saturday, and that kind of consistency leaves little opportunity for anyone else.

O'Neill is delighted to have the veteran shot-stopper on his books, but insists he would have no qualms about fielding Guzan on a regular basis.

The 25-year-old is set to be awarded another Carling Cup run-out on Tuesday, against Sunderland, but his club boss feels he is capable of competing on a grander stage.

O'Neill said: "My own view is that Brad Guzan is good enough to play in quite a number of Premier League teams.

"It is right that he has kept Brad Friedel on his toes and done very well since coming here and he wants to learn and get better.

"He also has something else to think about now that the United States have qualified for the World Cup finals.

"Guzan would be keen to put a bit of competition in for that goalkeeping spot as well which is currently occupied by Tim Howard."