The Aston Villa midfielder James Milner is poised to return to the side for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea at Wembley.
Milner sat through Villa's 1-0 victory over Bolton on Saturday on the bench after heading into the game as a doubt with an Achilles injury. Manager Martin O'Neill is convinced the rest will have helped the 24-year-old, and he will now be raring to go on Saturday.
"I'm pleased we could rest him, because I think it was probably good for him," O'Neill said. "It was pleasing to have won the game without him, and I'm hoping he will recover in time for next Saturday and the rest will do him good."
Captain Stiliyan Petrov has urged O'Neill to remain at Villa next season and sort out any potential differences with club owner Randy Lerner. O'Neill is poised to hold his customary end of season talks with American multi-millionaire Lerner, when he admits he will "asses everything".
Petrov was always confident speculation that O'Neill would leave Villa before the end of the season was unfounded. But the Bulgaria international also hopes the Northern Irishman will stay at Villa Park for the long haul. "Martin O'Neill has got his own views about things and those are between manager and chairman," said Petrov, who also played under O'Neill at Celtic. "Like he said, he's going to take things from there [in the summer] but we all want him to stay because he's done a great job and he's a great man as well.
"Our chairman has said before, over the course of a season and years, you are going to have a manager and chairman go against each other. But the best thing is how they are going to solve things and keep together. They are grown men and I'm sure they'll put things together."Reuse content