'I want to stay' - O'Neill

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has insisted he wants to stay at Villa Park after again dismissing further speculation about his future.

O'Neill has seen his position questioned consistently over the last few weeks despite guiding Villa to the Carling Cup Final, the FA Cup semi-final and a place in next season's Europa League.

He said: "Of course I want to stay. Why wouldn't I? It is a fantastic football club and it has things in place."

O'Neill has spoken out after reports that what he said addressing the audience at Villa's Player Of The Year awards on Wednesday night could have been viewed as a farewell speech.

He added: "I am well aware these days, more so than ever before, of how things work.

"Do you deny the story and thereby people say that there is a story in the first place or do you let it run and by letting it run and not denying it you are giving it credibility.

"So that saying 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' is something that comes to mind pretty readily.

"I didn't intend to say anything at all at the dinner but as people were enjoying themselves I did speak. I let the players disappear as I didn't want to be offending them in any aspect by speaking about them.

"I cannot understand how people can pick up in a totally different aspect from what was actually said.

"I don't how many ways there are to answer this question. I have enjoyed the season immensely. It has been very challenging and that has been part of the fun. The season in many ways has been exceptional as we have played more games than most clubs."

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