O'Neill Denies Spat With Pearce
By Andy
Thursday 03 Apr 2008 12:45:53
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Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has denied that there is a rift between himself and England U21 manager Stuart Pearce, despite what reports are saying.

O'Neill was left fuming after Craig Gardner picked up a thigh injury in the England U21’s game against Poland last week, since then there have been reports that he has fallen out with Pearce.

But O’Neil insists that nothing could be further from the truth and in his opinion someone has been trying to make a story out of nothing.

"There was a story about a 'spat' with Stuart Pearce. There hasn't been any spat," O'Neill told the club's official website.

"I was disappointed that he (Gardner) got injured in a game that was really meaningless.

"I've not had any run-ins with Stuart Pearce - he's trying to do his job. My gripe was that it was a meaningless game at an important club stage of the season.

"It seems there's not a story unless people can turn it into a conflict. I am not demanding a showdown with Stuart Pearce, but that of course spoils the story.

"I was asked would I be speaking to Stuart Pearce and I said 'I'm sure I will'. That meant I'm sure I'll speak to him at some stage. But I haven't spoken to him at this stage and I've no specific intention of doing so.

"If anybody from the FA wants to enquire after the health of Craig Gardner, that's alright. But I won't be chasing anybody."

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