Date: 10th October 2005 at 6:58pm
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DOL has said 10th won’t be good enough this season. ‘We finished 10th last season and people ask whether that would be acceptable again? Well, no it won’t. I want to finish higher than that this time. We’ve been in the top 10 for the last two years and now we have to move up a level. Anywhere from eighth upwards this season would be great but our goal has to be getting into Europe.’ More ‘we are going for Europe quotes’ expected from the board any day now.

There are still doubts over Laursens knee injury with reports suggesting he may still need an operation on it. It is hoped he will be fit for Saturday. He hasn’t been included in the Danish squad to face England next week but did complete 90 mins for Villa v Utrecht.

Agbonhlahor and Ridgewell scored in a reserves 2-2 draw away to Middlesbrough.

Villa transfers so far: In: Patrik Berger (Portsmouth, free), Aaron Hughes (Newcastle, undisclosed), Stuart Taylor (Arsenal, undisclosed), Kevin Phillips (Southampton, £1m) Out: Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart, free), Stefan Moore (QPR, free), Stephen Cooke (released), Darius Vassell (Manchester City, £2m), Wayne Henderson (Brighton, loan).

Solano is now being linked to Man City. Yawn.

O’Leary says the key to the season is Mellberg and that he is returning to peak form at the right time. ‘I know he is a real quality player. I’ve got a really good skipper here and we are looking for him to reach some really high standards again, the standards he set in my first season. If Olof has a good season then Villa will have a good season.’

Berger is struggling with an injury, DOL said: ‘Patrik has a niggly thigh and we felt if he missed the Utrecht game, hopefully in the next few days it would clear up’

Ellis is threatening a return to his job in two weeks. No rush Doug.

Reports suggest Baros has agreed terms with Villa but the two clubs haven’t reached a deal over the price. Villa want to pay £6million and Liverpool want £7million. Other reports suggest he will sign late this week when Liverpool return from their Champions League game.

Well that was exciting wasn’t it? Still, at least we have the promise of 3 players arriving this week, they won’t fail us surely?!!!

Thought for the day: Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.