Date: 29th July 2008 at 5:45pm
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Martin O’Neill has vowed to stand by the promise of a new contract for Freddy Bouma, despite his recent injury.

Bouma is likely to be out for 6 months after dislocating his ankle in our Intertwobob match against Odense at Villa Park.

The left back is in his final 12 months after Villa took up the 12 month extension offer last season, and although there has been reasonably regular contact over a new deal, nothing has been set in stone yet.

Despite that, O’Neill has no intentions of shelving the contract talks until he regains fitness.

Speaking to the press, our manager said:

“Will I look after him? Absolutely, that is not a problem.

“I have done it before in my Birmingham time. We looked after Mark Delaney and I am quite sure I will look after somebody who has played 38 Premiership games last season for us.”

I’d imagine Bouma will end up with the contract he deserves and be given all the help and time needed for him to recover properly.

He was an important player for us last season and O’Neill recognises that fact.

“Freddy never missed a game last year and with the workload this year we might have – although it is not guaranteed even though we have gone through to the UEFA Cup qualifying – we need a lot of players.

“We would have been looking at that position as a backup to Freddy anyway.’

Some reports suggest the above comment implies we will be signing two left backs, or at least looking to but I’m not sure myself. With O’Halloran not far off recovering from his injury, I can only see O’Neill bringing in one player myself.