Date: 20th November 2006 at 4:03pm
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High praise from Martin O’Neill for 20-year-old striker Gabby Agbonlahor who, according to the boss, they can’t afford to rest as he is so versatile playing up front as well as on the left and the right wings.

‘He is honest and he is a handful. He is as willing as the day is long. He has got ability; I told him in the dressing room, that when he picks the ball up and there are three defenders around him – I am getting to the stage now where I still expect him to do something.’

O’Neill says that people forget this is his first full season adding ‘We can’t afford for Gabby to not be in the side. If he was playing in a bigger squad, I would definitely think about resting him – but we can’t. If he goes out the side, and we lose a couple of other players – then we are not strong enough. Often young players come in and then go out of the team, but he has carried on. If you had said to him at the start of this season or the back end of last season that he would play this amount of games in the whole season, he would probably have taken it.’

O’Neill also says the player should be left to concentrate on playing in the Premiership before he thinks of England.

 

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