Alex McLeish has confidence in Aston Villa duo Emile Heskey and Carlos Cuellar

 

Alex McLeish is content to put his faith in two players out of contract this summer in striker Emile Heskey and defender Carlos Cuellar for tonight's vital Barclays Premier League clash with Bolton.

Striker Heskey, 34, is poised to lead the attack at Villa Park if captain Gabriel Agbonlahor fails to recover from a shoulder problem.

Cuellar is required to fill the gap at the back left by the absence of central defender James Collins through a groin problem.

McLeish said: "It depends on Gabby, but Emile would come right into the thinking for tonight. He's admired by all his team-mates.

"His team-mates love him, and love him playing in the team, because they know he's going to work his socks off for the cause and he's going to create chances for them.

"He's capable of scoring as well when he's playing in his favourite position of centre forward.

"I think Michael Owen said he was the best partner he ever played with.

"It's the same scenario with someone like Carlos. The thing about guys like that is that they have total commitment to any particular task that they have to undertake.

"Those two are fine examples of that, two guys who will go through brick walls for you and for the club - regardless of what happens next."

McLeish also confirmed Cuellar was the "outstanding candidate" to skipper the side tonight if Agbonlahor is ruled out.

The Scot has challenged Villa to improve their home record and show a ruthless streak tonight.

Villa have recorded just four victories in front of their own supporters this season and lie only five points above the bottom three.

McLeish said: "Our record at home is rotten. It's not something we are proud of.

"It's something we can't do anything about now but we've got to do something about the next game. We've got to go all out to win it.

"The stakes of the Premier League are enormous. This next game is huge for us and Bolton and we've got to go for it and the players are totally committed and ready for the cause.

"We've lost sucker equalisers in the last few minutes. These points become vital when you get to this stage of the season.

"We've got to try to find that ruthless professionalism and resilience when we get to situations such as that."

PA

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk