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Villa players gagged ahead of derby

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has gagged his players ahead of the Birmingham derby.

The Birmingham Mail says only skipper Gareth Barry will join O'Neill in speaking publicly about the derby with both set to face the media on Friday.

O'Neill has been made aware that certain comments from Olof Mellberg were taken a little out of context five years ago, with the Swede then repeating them in a TV interview some years later.

Even a newspaper column in a weekly paper by Zat Knight has been pulled.

O'Neill said: "Nobody will be doing anything. All it needs is a silly little line miss-placed or whatever the case may be - especially from players.

"They'll maybe think nobody will ever read it, but in this day and age there is no point in inflaming anything.

"We are well aware of how important the game is."

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