Heskey to fight for Aston Villa place

England striker Emile Heskey is happy to fight for his place at Aston Villa.

Heskey claims he was misquoted earlier in the week when remarks attributed to him suggested he might look to move on in order to secure a place in England's World Cup squad.

The 31-year-old, who joined Villa from Wigan only at the start of the year, has made just one Barclays Premier League start this season.

Heskey told his club's website, www.avfc.co.uk: "After a game, you are faced with about 10 million questions. Most of my replies were one-word answers, and then I read headlines saying I'm going to quit Villa and things like that. It confused me a little.

"You try and go over the questions you were asked and piece together things you said, trying to work out when I said I was going to quit Villa.

"I am here to fight for my place like any other player. Everyone is in the same ball park - they want to play and they are ready to fight.

"I'm not running away from things - you have to embrace the challenge. These are the hurdles you have to get over. I've said that before."

Heskey has spoken to Villa manager Martin O'Neill about the comments and feels there is no issue.

He said: "I didn't say I want to quit Villa or anything like that. The manager knows what I'm like. I have spoken to him and explained the quotes. I think the manager knew anyway that certain things weren't said.

"I just wanted to clear everything up. The headline said more than the whole piece actually. Some people only see the headline.

"It's not nice to be painted as something I'm not. But as I said, I've seen it happen to so many people before me. I've seen people get through it - and so can I.

"I am here; I am a Villa player - and in spite of what the headlines say, I'm not going to quit."