Villa's Reo-Coker backing Harewood for big closing season impact

Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is backing teammate Marlon Harewood to make a big impact in the final third of the season.

Harewood has had to endure a frustrating start to his Villa career and been down the pecking order behind Gabriel Agbonlahor and John Carew.

But he has made a big impact as a substitute in recent weeks and his introduction in the 4-1 win over Newcastle 10 days ago was hailed as a major factor after Martin O'Neill's side had trailed at half-time.

Reo-Coker said: "Marlon seems reborn. It is the same Marlon that was at Nottingham Forest - bullying players - and the hunger and appetite is there.

"It's taken him a while to settle and he's got that hunger back.

"It's been difficult for Marlon to go from first team regular at West Ham to a substitute at Villa - with a cameo appearance here and there.

"But he has made a big impact as a substitute. I am sure he will go from strength to strength now."

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