O'Leary committed to five-year Villa plan

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The Independent Online

The Aston Villa manager David O'Leary signed a three-and-a-half year contract extension yesterday after deals for his assistants, Roy Aitken and Steve McGregor, were also agreed.

The Aston Villa manager David O'Leary signed a three-and-a-half year contract extension yesterday after deals for his assistants, Roy Aitken and Steve McGregor, were also agreed.

The Irishman, who took over in May 2003 after Graham Taylor's departure, has committed himself to the club until May 2008. He said: "I always wanted to remain but it was important to me that Roy and Steve, who are an integral part of my team, should also stay for the same length of time.

"Someone has to try and put Aston Villa back where they belong and I'm up for the challenge, although I know there is a lot to do. I want to make sure that by the end of the five years I would have been in charge Villa are achieving regular top-six finishes.

"But to achieve that, and take the next step forward, we do need to bring in quality players and I would like a couple next month if at all possible to set us on the way."

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