O'Neill accepts Heskey blow

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Football News

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill insists he has no gripes with England coach Fabio Capello despite striker Emile Heskey being injured for the second successive friendly international.

O'Neill was upset when Capello opted to start with Heskey in February's clash with Spain in Seville when he had reported for duty with an Achilles problem. Now Heskey has been ruled out of Sunday's trip to Manchester United with a hamstring injury.

But O'Neill has no axe to grind this time with Capello as Heskey had reported fully fit for duty. He said: "I haven't a problem with this one because it is two separate situations."

He added: "When Emile went to the international with Spain he had come off injured in the match we had played beforehand at Blackburn.

"He then came off in the second half with England because of the same injury and was unable to play for us in the next game and I was annoyed about things.

"This is a different scenario where someone goes away properly fit and just picks up an injury that can happen anytime. That can't be helped. It is a blow but it is one of those things.

"In fairness, the rest of the players who went away on international duty are fit so, in terms of percentages, we are probably not too badly off."

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Blackburn Rovers
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Manchester United
Aston Villa

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