Premier League

O'Neill - Shorey is staying

Full-back has a future at Villa Park

Shorey: Has a future at Villa

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has reiterated that defender Nicky Shorey has a future at the club.

Shorey made a £5million move from Reading last August but has not been a regular in O'Neill's first-team throughout the season.

The full-back was axed from the Villa starting XI after the shock home defeat to Middlesbrough in November, sparking speculation that he could be sold in the summer.

However, Shorey has battled back and regained a spot for Villa's last two Premier League games, with Manchester United and Everton, and O'Neill maintains that the player is a part of his plans.

He said: "I was asked this question before over whether Nicky has a future here. It does surprise me. Why shouldn't people have futures here?

"I don't sign players here not for them to have some sort of future here. The future generally depends on players.

Unlucky

"You will have occasions when some players are genuinely unlucky not to be in the team. But for the most part players pick themselves.

"There might be a reason why people aren't every team but I am not going to sit here every week and explain everything to the minuet detail."

O'Neill also believes that Shorey may have taken inspiration from team-mate Stiliyan Petrov, who has regained a regular role after losing a place following a 2006 move from Celtic.

"It is very possible that Nicky has taken inspiration from the example of Stiliyan. He is the best case scenario in point when talking about players here," O'Neill added.

"It is only just a year ago that people were concerning themselves about whether Stiliyan had a future here. But he has battled back so much.

"If every person shows the same determination and willingness and drive that Stiliyan has shown the last year, there will be a future for anyone.

"Players have to fight back to be in the side if they are out of it - and I have been delighted with Nicky's fightback and his comeback."