Phillips future in O'Neill's hands
By Andrew Scurr. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has yet to make a decision over striker Kevin Phillips' future at the club.
Phillips has been the subject of interest from former club Sunderland, where ex-strike partner Niall Quinn is now manager.
The new Black Cats boss remains confident of bringing Phillips back to The Stadium of Light but O'Neill is yet to decide what plans he has for the 33-year-old.
"At this minute, I personally haven't spoken to Sunderland and I just want to assess the squad," O'Neill told the club's official website.
"I think Sunderland made it public that they were interested, but I haven't spoken to Kevin yet.
"Today was a day I would like to have spoken to a couple of players, but I'm enmeshed in this League Managers' meeting.
"I couldn't be specific about it, but I will now sit down and assess the squad from our position. There's speculation at the moment about players going out and coming in."
Meanwhile, midfielder Steven Davis is confident of being fit for Villa's season opener against Arsenal at the weekend.
The 21-year-old has been sidelined with a thigh strain and missed the club's pre-season tour of Germany and Holland.
However, Davis returned to full training on Monday and insists he will be ready for action on Saturday.
"I've had a good week of treatment and I trained Friday and Saturday with the reserves. I was feeling good with no problems at all," he said.
"So I joined in yesterday with the first-team and again I had no reaction at all. It's looking good.
"It was obviously very frustrating to miss the pre-season tour, especially with the new manager coming in. Those three games would have really been a chance to show him what I can do.
"But I've just got to get my head down now this week in training and hopefully stake my claim."