Gabby gearing for goal glut

Pacey striker back in shape and ready to deliver goals

Agbonlahor: In shape

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Gabriel Agbonlahor has vowed to rediscover his goalscoring form after compromising with Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier about his weight.

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"I feel fine and as sharp and fast as I ever have."

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Quotes of the week

The England international striker has suffered a stop-start season for the Midlanders through injury and illness and has yet to register a Premier League goal.

Villa boss Houllier was concerned that Agbonlahor was losing his blistering pace in a bid to bulk up his strength.

And the Erdington-born marksman has revealed that an agreement has been found on finding the optimum physique to get the best out of his talents.


"I can see where the manager is coming from, of course, but I think I was the same last season and that was my best season at Villa,'' Agbonlahor told The Birmingham Mail.

"I think maybe if I trimmed down and became how I was when I first broke into the team then I might lose an element to my game.

"If I start to get bullied by defenders people will then say I am not strong enough for the Premier League so you can't win either way.

"But it is about getting that balance. I feel fine and as sharp and fast as I ever have."

Agbonlahor fired 16 goals in all competitions for Villa last season and the mercurial front man hopes a run of games in January will get him back on the scoring trail.

''I think anyone who comes back from injury needs a run of games," added the 24-year-old, who has suffered from hamstring and back problems this term as well as undergoing a groin operation and not to mention virus and chest infection complaints.

"If you look at all of the top strikers in the Premier League who have been out with injury they need that run of games to get back into it.

"It has been frustrating. I haven't had that many games overall this season and obviously the result comes first but hopefully I can get a goal as well."

Cummings trial

Meanwhile, MLS side Colorado Rapids have told Villa they expect Omar Cummings to return for the start of their league campaign, which begins in mid-March.

The Jamaica international striker is on trial with the Midlanders and a loan deal could be struck if the player impresses Houllier over the coming weeks.

But Rapids head coach Gary Smith insists the 28-year-old will be back in the United States in time for their 19th March opener against Portland.

"Aston Villa will take a little look and we'll then see if that turns into a loan period," Smith told The Birmingham Mail.

"My involvement will be if he's on trial and it turns into something more substantial. Then, he must be back for that first game.

"I was a little surprised when I first heard about it, but that is what you have to expect. That is any agent's job to throw out a few bits of bait and get their client under peoples' noses."