Villa boss O'Neill: No Pearce squabble

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has dismissed reports of a row with England U21 boss Stuart Pearce over an injury picked up by Craig Gardner last week.

He told avfc.co.uk: "There was a story about a 'spat' with Stuart Pearce. There hasn't been any spat. I was disappointed that he got injured in a game that was really meaningless.

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"I've not had any run-ins with Stuart Pearce - he's trying to do his job. My gripe was that it was a meaningless game at an important club stage of the season.

"It seems there's not story unless people can turn it into a conflict. I am not demanding a showdown with Stuart Pearce, but that of course spoils the story."

O'Neill concluded: "I was asked would I be speaking to Stuart Pearce and I said 'I'm sure I will'. That meant I'm sure I'll speak to him at some stage.

"But I haven't spoken to him at this stage and I've no specific intention of doing so. If anybody from the FA wants to enquire after the health of Craig Gardner, that's alright. But I won't be chasing anybody."

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