Date: 16th December 2005 at 2:50pm
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Aaron Hughes is looking to fill some big boots saying he can fill the space vacated by injured captain Olof Mellberg.

Mellberg, who had recently got back to his top form, is out with a hamstring injury and could miss all of the Christmas fixtures, which is one injury David O’Leary could have well done without as he prepares the team for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday.

Aston Villa now only have one recognised centre back in youngster Liam Ridgewell with Laursen out long term and reserve rookie Cahill also injuryed.

Hughes has said that he could take Mellbergs place, which would then mean Delaney – who is only just back from his latest injury set back – would slot into his usual right back role. Delaney has played centrally for Wales and Bouma for Holland.

Hughes said: ‘I’ve played there before. I started out as a centreback and have played most of my international football there. It’s only over the past couple of years I’ve moved to full-back with Newcastle and I came here as a full-back. I don’t know whether it will be me, you’d have to ask the manager. If he asked me though, I’d be fine.’

He also explains that he was used in all positions at Newcastle saying he was ‘here, there and everywhere – in lots of positions.’

He was told when he came to Villa his position would be right back and he would have to fight Delaney for the place but is happy to move to the central role for the good of the team.

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