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Villa boss O'Neill explains Shorey, Young axing

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists he has no problems with new fullbacks Luke Young and Nicky Shorey after dropping them for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Portsmouth.

He said: "I left out Luke Young and Nicky Shorey but there is nothing fantastic to read into it.

"I was concerned, as a lot of managers, about how the players would be like when they came back from international duty.

"We only met up on Friday morning for a brief spell and, while all the players want to play, I didn't know how long they might last in the game.

"For instance, John Carew was suffering with cramps a lot before the game but he came through and started to get stronger.

"One player I was concerned about, Stiliyan Petrov - who played two internationals for Bulgaria and was in Georgia on Wednesday - was the best player on the pitch.

"We've got players available for Thursday for the UEFA Cup (against Ajax) now and it is no slight on anyone.

"I have been pleased with both full-backs. They are trying to get to grips. They have had no chance whatsoever to settle in. But overall they will be fine, the two lads. There is not a problem."

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