O'Neill salutes Young creativity

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill hailed another crucial contribution from winger Ashley Young as his side overcame Blackburn 3-1 to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Young was restored to the starting line-up after being suspended for the midweek home defeat against Liverpool. But the England international quickly made an impression in creating the opening two goals for young striker Nathan Delfouneso and Carlos Cuellar, with John Carew netting the fourth from the penalty spot.

"Ashley set up the opening two goals and he is a top-quality player who is so important to us," said O'Neill.

"It is three years this month since he came to us from Watford and his contribution for us during that time has been immense."

O'Neill played down suggestions striker Emile Heskey will be allowed to leave Villa during January and revealed he hopes to add a couple of signings.

O'Neill said: "I don't know why Emile's name has been brought up but I wouldn't really want to sell players at this club.

"We are hoping to get a couple of players in because it is a long season ahead of us."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce was unhappy with the sending-off of midfielder El-Hadji Diouf for a first-half tackle on Villa defender Habib Beye.

He said: "I see a lot of those situations that never result in a sending-off. They will justify it by saying it was two-footed but the referee, Howard Webb, is a long way away.

"He did not know what sort of tackle it was because I have seen a playback on the video. If the assistant referee made the decision, then fine, but I don't think he did."

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Habib Beye
Blackburn Rovers
John Carew
Emile Heskey
Premier League
El-Hadji Diouf
Carlos Cuellar
Ashley Young
Nathan Delfouneso
Aston Villa
FA Cup

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