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Deadly Doug says Aston Villa fans can be optimistic

Former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis says the club has plenty to look forward to next season.

"There are grounds for optimism. I certainly don't think anyone should be negative about the future of Aston Villa," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"It is on a stable footing. It has a good manager and good coaching staff and in addition they have some good youngsters coming through.

"They need to replace Martin Laursen, in particular, and Gareth Barry because they were two of the most important players we have had in the last year or two. I'm sure they will replace them.

"I don't want to appear to be giving any advice to Martin or Randy because they know what they are doing.

"I'm sure they know the most important players to replace are Laursen and Barry.

"They may be up against it next season but as I have said so many times, money itself does not guarantee success. I don't have to tell Martin or Randy what the opposition is, they know it already."

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