Date: 10th April 2008 at 1:14pm
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Martin O’Neill wants Gareth Barry to continue the form he showed against Bolton – which saw him score most points this week in the : actim stats – right up until the end of the season.

He told the official site: ‘I said after the game he was back to his best, because his performances in recent times by all of us have been a bit below par, but that was dynamic. Even before he got the first goal there was a determination about him. The goal of course helped him enormously, giving him a big boost of confidence and he was fantastic for us. Hopefully we can see more of the same over these last few matches.’

The Villa boss has also issued a hands off warning (well, sort of) to Chelsea after speculation linking our skipper to Stamford Bridge.

MON said in an interview with the Birmingham Mail: ‘I don’t know where these stories come from. Gareth has another two years on his contract. He’s been linked with Chelsea for about two seasons, but no-one from Chelsea has ever contacted me about him and they have had a couple of managers and the same chief executive during that time.’

My worry is, if Chelsea did approach, would Gareth be tempted to pastures new? He was expecting signings last summer/January to match his ambitions and with them not materialising, will his mind wonder if a big four team came knocking?