Date: 6th March 2008 at 11:49am
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He’s no Makalelele, but Villa captain Gareth Barry believes that the man at the heart of the engine room, Nigel Reo-Coker is doing a vital job for the team.

In two weeks, the statto’s out there have claimed that Reo-Coker is the most frequent tackler (although not the most successfully percentage wise,) followed by a counter-claim that per-point of the average player, he is the worst summer transfer of any Premier League club.

Captain Barry however believes he is a “vital cog in the Villa machinery” (avfc.co.uk’s words, not mine!) Speaking to the official site Barry said:

“We are different sorts of players. Generally Nigel plays a deeper role. He does get forward a bit but, rather than try and play the killer ball, he will find me and hopefully I can get it up to the other lads.

“We complement each other very well and I think it is going very well. We both work hard to try to get the ball back although Nigel’s role is one that won’t get him the headlines.

“But we all realise Nigel is doing a job for the team and he is not the sort of person to worry too much about not getting the headlines. As long as he plays well and we pick up points, then that is more than enough for him.”

Reo-Coker was replaced by Zat Knight during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal having picked up an unknown injury, he is however expected to return to full fitness to take on George boot-thrower Boateng and co as Villa face Middlesbrough at home on Wednesday 12th March.