Date: 19th June 2008 at 12:16pm
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Martin O’Neill has said he is prepared to wait for the right transfer targets this summer as he looks to add quality, not just quantity.

In an interview on the official site he explained it will take time but he knows who he wants and promises they’ll do things as quickly as they can.

Explaining, ‘But the people we want to try and improve this club are players you can almost automatically assume are key players at other football clubs. These are people it might be difficult to prise out of their current clubs.’

He also says he knows the squad has to be improved but ‘it’s a fact that improving the squad gets harder as you progress. We’ve just finished sixth in the Premier League and I think the supporters will agree that we have progressed over the last two years. To improve on what we now have means bringing in even more quality and the competition for quality players can be fierce.’

The Villa boss also said yesterday that despite looking to bring in more players he still wants to give the Villa youngsters their chance to shine.

‘I’m always keen to bring new players through if they merit that. Now as we bring in more players that’s an added hurdle for the young lads but that’s no bad thing. I think the idea is to have genuine competition throughout the squad. It would be nice to be able to do a bit of rotating.’

He also says he is proud of the reserves and the academy and the efforts of everyone involved including the backroom staff.

‘I was lucky enough to be involved in the FA Youth Cup run and I got a great buzz out of it. The players put their heart and soul into it and with a little bit of luck could have won the competition. They bounced back to win their league and the play-offs so I’m very pleased with them. The attitude has been great and that’s a credit to all the people who look after them. As for the reserves, Kevin MacDonald sometimes didn’t know until the last minute what his team might be, but he just got on with it. I saw nothing but a positive attitude and approach to those games and that’s not just from the youngsters but also from the senior players.’