MacDonald seeking talks with Lerner

Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald is hoping to speak to owner Randy Lerner over the next few days to find out whether there is any cash to spend in the transfer market.

MacDonald will continue to hold the reins for the next few days at least, taking in tonight's Europa League play-off with Rapid Vienna and Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Newcastle.

Victories in those to follow on from Saturday's impressive season-opening 3-0 triumph at home to West Ham could persuade Lerner that the 49-year-old Scot is the man for the job.

MacDonald, however, has yet to decide on whether he wants it, but he knows the clock is ticking towards the closure of the transfer window.

If the squad is to be strengthened it needs doing so fast, but the key is whether Lerner is willing to make money available.

The departure of James Milner yesterday to Manchester City - with Stephen Ireland moving in the opposite direction - will have freed some funds.

Whether MacDonald gets the opportunity to invest is another matter as he said: "At the moment I've not spoken to Mr Lerner or Paul (Faulkner, chief executive) about who is controlling the transfers.

"The only ongoing transfer when I took over related to Stephen and James, so probably after tomorrow's game I might be able to speak to them.

"If not we've Sunday's game to look forward to as well, so we've so much going on for me to try and get my head round.

"But after Sunday we've only 10 days to see what there is and if there are going to be any dealings in the market."

MacDonald's immediate priority is to steer Villa into the group stages of the Europa League, a feat O'Neill was unable to achieve last season after losing out on away goals to Rapid.

MacDonald, who knows all about the younger players from working with them in the reserves, is ready to give them a chance.

With Richard Dunne suspended, John Carew, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Carlos Cuellar and James Collins injured, and with Ashley Young, Stiliyan Petrov and Luke Young rested, several fringe players are in a 20-man squad.

"It's a very big game for us," added MacDonald.

"Villa have obviously had outstanding evenings in Europe, some when I've been here, some previously. We've a big reputation in Europe.

"But it's also very important to stay in the competition for squad players, the youngsters to play matches, and we'll be doing our utmost to stay in.

"I did say last week that whilst I was in charge, be it two games or 20, that everyone would be given an opportunity.

"Obviously the players on Saturday were outstanding, but now some of the players on the fringes are being given a chance.

"I'm talking about some of the youngsters who have done so well for this club over the years because it's not just about some of the so-called senior players."

Ireland will have to wait until Sunday's visit to St James' Park to make his bow, and after spending so long on City's fringes, he is eager to make an impact at Villa Park.

"I want to get back to playing the way I can - I haven't played 90 minutes in nearly eight or nine months, which isn't normal really for me," said Ireland.

"I've kind of forgotten the feeling of what it is like to come off after a game feeling tired, winning or losing. I'm not used to sitting out for so long.

"So for me, I want to get back to playing at the top of my game."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'