Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admits he is agonising over whether to release some of his fringe players on-loan.

He told Villa's website: "I am always torn on the loan front. If you haven't got a game, because of no involvement in cup competitions, it's good to get players out.

"You want players to have a couple of games, get their fitness up and it's good to play for a cause.

"But, saying that, our squad is not massive. We are trying to balance the situation.

"We were thinking of loaning Isaiah to Leicester for a month. He was training with them but Gareth Barry wasn't recovering for Liverpool in time so we bought him back.

"He's back involved here again and I think his efforts have been very encouraging in the last few weeks. He looks like he's getting stronger again."