Nigel Reo-Coker set for new Aston Villa deal


Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier insists on-song midfielder and stand-in captain Nigel Reo-Coker will be handed a new deal after a number of impressive displays.

The schemer, who wears the skipper's armband in Stiliyan Petrov's absence, has earned Houllier's praise in recent times after getting his Villans career back on track.

Under former manager Martin O'Neill, Reo-Coker endured a turbulent relationship with the Northern Irish tactician, but his current coach is not interested in the past.

But the Frenchman has challenged the former Wimbledon and West Ham United man not to take his foot off the gas should he extend his Villa Park stay.

"I don't want to talk about the past. I don't want to bother with that. Just from what I see, Nigel's attitude and his work-rate has been consistent," he said.

"In terms of performance, he knows exactly his role in the team. He works for the team and he has improved a lot, even over the last few games.

"Exemplarity is also a very important factor to me and that's why he's the captain. I hope he will stay with us.

"You have to be careful when you give good contracts to players.

"You don't want a player, once he has a contract, to get back into a sort of comfort zone, put a bit of weight on sometimes and not work as much.

"You have to make sure the contract is not the end in itself. It must be the start of a fighting experience to win things for the club.

"If you give a contract to a player it means you trust him for the future. I just want fighters."

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