Date: 14th January 2006 at 12:53pm
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David O’Leary has spelt out the cold hard truth to Lee Hendrie. He only has himself to blame when it comes to his lack of first team chances this season.

Hendrie, who has been linked to several clubs including Wolves, Portsmouth and Tottenham, says he has found this season ‘soul destroying’ because he has only had very limited first team games. However Hendrie started the season, yet again, suspended following a sending off in a friendly against Tamworth.

Hendrie is under pressure to keep his midfield place that he enjoyed against Hull because on loan Leeds midfielder Eirik Bakke is back in contention having had to sit out the FA Cup game due to the terms of his loan agreement.

Hendrie said after the Hull game: ‘I just hope I’ve done enough to keep my place.’ Adding ‘From my point of view, it was nice to be back involved in the first team, but I don’t know where I go from here. I’m in a bit of limbo to be honest. The transfer window is open so we’ll see what happens. I’m a Villa boy, I’ve been here for 10 years and the last thing I want to do is leave.’

Hendrie has admitted that his agent has spoken to Portsmouth over a possible move, although as they have just signed a trio of Spurs players, that prospect may no longer be open to him and O’Leary has already said he won’t send any of his players out on loan with Wolves and Southampton said to be eyeing a deal.

O’Leary told the official site ‘If you break it down why he hasn’t been playing much this season then first, he got himself ridiculously sent off at the beginning of the season and had to serve a suspension. Then after that he had a knee operation that kept him out for a long time.’