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O'Neill hopes Barry sticks with Villa

After victory over Intertoto Cup opponents, Odense, Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill again declared he hopes Gareth Barry stays.

"Having not heard anything from Liverpool for some time it is clear we value him more than they do," said O'Neill. "The fact they have not answered us for a week sends out a real message.

"We obviously don't want him to go, so the price we are asking is a fair and realistic one for a player who is so good. In fact I think it is really cheap.

"My own view is that he should hang around for another year and see if we can make further progress as he would want.

"Gareth is still only 28 next year - if we don't get where he wants to go, everybody would wish him well."

O'Neill could not have asked any more of the Villa fans, who jeered Barry during a midweek outing at nearby Walsall.

There was not the merest hint of dissent this time as the cheers began as the player waited to make his entrance.

The reception, as well as a win which takes Villa into the UEFA Cup second qualifying round, provides the perfect platform for Barry to revise his opinion, which is what O'Neill desperately hopes for.

"He has been with us for 10 years and the crowd reaction was really strong in his favour," said O'Neill. "I don't think there's any doubt about what we all want at Villa Park. We want him to stay at the club.

"I am not in the habit of encouraging players to talk to me after games but I told Gareth he had been terrific.

"You could see, with hardly any training, how brilliant he was.

"We need him at this club. He would be a terrific loss for us."

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Tribal Football Staff

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