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Villa chairman Lerner: Platt wrong on Barry

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has rapped former club star David Platt over comments that Gareth Barry should leave Villa Park.

Asked about Platt's outburst, the Villa owner told Villa's website: "I don't agree. I don't know that I can necessarily get into a well worded debate on this subject.

"But I think Gareth has the sense that there is more to this than simply either chasing money or managing one's career so tightly that you move from club to club to do what's best for you.

"I actually think that somebody like Gareth Barry takes very seriously the fact that he's captain at Villa. He's watched Villa do well over the last year and I think he's invested emotionally in Martin (O'Neill).

"I think he's brought other players along - he's very supportive of Nigel Reo-Coker and created a role for him when he came out of West Ham.

"I think it's a bigger issue than he ought to leave and go somewhere else because he'll do better or his career will accelerate - I don't see it."

So would Lerner like Barry to see out his career at Villa Park? "Absolutely. I hadn't heard a thing on this until that quote came out, so it's not being driven by the player. Gareth is the last guy in the world to use those channels, it's just not who he is.

"I think he's got an amazing demeanour. I think he's a relaxed, articulate, warm guy and I think he's the best you're going to get in sport."

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Tribal Football Staff

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