Villa boss O'Neill happy giving Bannan, Albrighton chance

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill was happy to give youngsters Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton starts in last week's UEFA Cup defeat at CSKA Moscow.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill was happy to give youngsters Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton starts in last week's UEFA Cup defeat at CSKA Moscow.

In his match programme notes for yesterday's draw with Stoke, O'Neill wrote: "Despite the 2-0 scoreline, I felt the team produced a gritty display, and it was good to see youngsters Barry Bannan and Marc Albrighton doing so well on their full debuts.

"They were undaunted by neither the occasion nor the opposition, and the experience they gained in the Russian capital will stand them in good stead for the future. We tried our utmost but it wasn't to be."

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