Cuellar ready to stake claim - O'Neill

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Martin O'Neill believes central defender Carlos Cuellar is ready to play a full part in Aston Villa's forthcoming demanding schedule.

The midlands club face seven games in 21 days starting with Monday's Barclays Premier League clash at Tottenham which Cuellar is in contention for after being side-lined with a calf injury for the first weeks of the season.

O'Neill said: "Cuellar is doing very well indeed. He has played a couple of reserve games now. He has got himself into a bit of shape and I think he is just about ready for what lies ahead."

He added: "We have an early advantage following the international matches, in which some people like Gareth Barry and Martin Laursen played twice, in not playing until Monday evening.

"But then that is negated by having to travel to Bulgaria on Tuesday for a UEFA Cup game on Thursday.

"We have four in the next nine days after not playing for 15-16 days. It will be unimaginable not to be using all of the players. I am sure everyone will be playing in the next week or so.

"I think, first of all, you shouldn't moan about it. We are in the UEFA Cup, which we battled for all of last season, so you don't want to give it up.

"By the same token you want to be going into all of the games as strongly as you possibly can as well."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Barry
Carlos Cuellar
Aston Villa

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