Football

Reo-Coker waiting game

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is remaining tight lipped over whether Nigel Reo-Coker will return to the side for Wednesday's Carling Cup clash with Cardiff after the training ground bust-up between the pair.

O'Neill confirmed he held a meeting with Reo-Coker on Monday but is refusing to reveal any details of the discussions or whether the midfielder - dropped from the squad to face Portsmouth at the weekend after the Thursday altercation with O'Neill at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground - would play against the Bluebirds.

"I had a conversation with Nigel," said O'Neill on Tuesday. "It shall remain private as far as I am concerned."

The manager added: "If Nigel or close associates want to divulge what was said, that is entirely up to him or them.

"As far as I am concerned what I said to him shall remain private and that's how I'm going to end it. Is Nigel in the squad tomorrow? That's how I'm going to end it. I have not picked the team yet. He trained today with the squad."

Reo-Coker was skipper of the Villa side which won the pre-season Peace Cup tournament in Spain and started the campaign in his preferred central midfield role.

But it remains to be seen whether he has blotted his copybook to such an extent that he will now have only a peripheral role to play at Villa Park.

Meanwhile, defenders Luke Young and Wilfred Bouma continued their comeback from injury by playing in a behind closed doors friendly on Monday. Young has been troubled since pre-season with a thigh problem and was also given compassionate leave after the death of his half-brother, whose funeral he will be attending on Wednesday.

Bouma has not tasted first team action for 14 months since dislocating an ankle in a Intertoto Cup match with BK Odense in July 2008.

Striker Emile Heskey (ankle) and winger Ashley Young (calf) are rated as doubtful to face Cardiff as Villa look to avoid another shock defeat after losing to Leicester and QPR in the competition in the past two seasons.

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Topics:
Leicester City
Portsmouth
Football
Nigel Reo-Coker
League Cup
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Cardiff City
Luke Young
Ashley Young
Queens Park Rangers
Aston Villa
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