O'Neill keen to strengthen

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill will bid to strengthen his high-flying side in the January transfer window.

O'Neill, whose third-placed team face a crucial game against Arsenal at Villa Park on Boxing Day, is still operating with a relatively small squad in Premier League terms.

He is already a striker light with John Carew missing courtesy of a back problem and O'Neill said: "We will definitely have a look. Whether we are successful in the market or not I really don't know at this moment."

He added: "But January is the only opportunity you get. Once that closes down then you have what you have and February, March, April and May become long months if you have been unable to get some other people into the football club."

Increasing O'Neill's desire to bring in more manpower is that fact Villa have experienced a heavy workload this season.

They have already played 29 games this term - only 12 fewer than they played in the whole of the previous campaign.

But the effects of Villa's early start to the season in the Intertoto Cup campaign does not seem to have hit them just yet as they are currently flying in third place.

Having beaten Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium last month, pulling off a double against the Gunners would see Villa open up a six-point lead over Arsene Wenger's side.

But O'Neill would not read anything into such an advantage, and he added: "If we can win the game as a consequence of that we can go a few points clear.

"But at this stage of the season I don't think that six points clear is either make or break."

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John Carew
Premier League
Aston Villa

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