Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has hit out at England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce for not substituting midfielder Craig Gardner after he complained of being injured during Tuesday's friendly with Poland at Molineux.

Gardner suffered a thigh injury midway through the opening 45 minutes and made the England management aware of his problem but he was kept on until half-time before finally being taken off.

Now Gardner is facing a three-game absence with the setback including Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at leaders Manchester United.

O'Neill told "It's a thigh injury. I don't know whether there were plans for him to come off at half-time in the under-21 game or not.

"But Craig did complain about the injury with 20 minutes to go in the first half. He made it clear that his thigh was particularly sore and it's disappointing that he had to stay on the field for the rest of the time.

"Now he misses some games for us."