Davies to learn from O'Neill
Defender keen to work with Ulsterman
Last Updated: August 31, 2007 3:49pm
O'Neill: Midas touch
Curtis Davies believes Martin O'Neill is the manager to fine tune him into becoming a 'footballing gem' following his move to Aston Villa.
The highly-rated West Brom defender has moved to Villa on an initial season-long loan switch, with a view to a permanent move.
It is understood that should the transfer go through, the deal will be worth an initial £8.5million, rising to a potential £10million.
A hamstring injury will prevent him from making a debut in Sunday's Premier League clash at home to Chelsea but once he gets started, Davies can hardly wait to work alongside O'Neill.
"I'm delighted that everything has been sorted," he said.
"At West Brom I was a small fish in a big pond. Anything I did okay looked good.
"Here I have got to fight for my place but we want to push on to Europe and I want to be part of that.
"The manager's record speaks for itself. During his career he has turned people like Emile Heskey, Robbie Savage and Muzzy Izzet into great players and hopefully he can turn me into a gem as well."
Davies believes working with a better standard of player at Villa can only aid his England aspirations.
He added: "I looked at the squad list at Villa and eight of the players are or have been England Under 21 internationals. Hopefully we can all push each other through and play for England.
"When you see people like Ashley in the squad now it tells you that I have made the right move. I have come here to do well and working with defenders like Martin Laursen and Olof Mellberg every day can improve you.
"I want to get fit, get in the team and kick on from there. I want to push the club as far as I can."
O'Neill is confident he has landed a player of substantial promise.
"I am very pleased to have signed Curtis. He has been worth waiting for. It seems a long time since our interest was made known but all's well that ends well.
"West Brom wanted to do the deal in the way we have done it, starting with a season-long loan, and I am happy to go along with it."