Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has assured Juan Pablo Angel and Aaron Hughes they are part of his future plans despite not even making the substitutes’ bench against West Ham last weekend.
The new strike duo of John Carew and Ashley Young were preferred to Angel by O’Neill against Alan Curbishley’s side with the former scoring the winner.
And Northern Ireland skipper Hughes has lost his place in the starting line-up to on loan Manchester United full-back Phil Bardsley.
But O’Neill is adamant the pair have a future at Villa Park.
The former Celtic boss said: “Juan Pablo and Aaron are well and truly in my plans but last weekend was the first time we’ve had a choice since we kicked off the season since Arsenal.
“Juan has been involved in virtually every game. It was virtually the first game he missed so far. He will be back. But it is more encouraging for the club that we have a choice.”
Club record signing Angel, who has netted seven goals this season, has spelt out his desire to remain part of the O’Neill revolution.
The 30-year-old, who has been at Villa for six seasons, said: “I’d like to be part of the new era but those things you can’t control. ”I just wish I’d had the chance to have worked with Martin O’Neill before.
“I haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen. The manager has been trying to do an assessment.
“He knows some of us already and at the back of his mind he knows which players are going to be a part of the future or not. Only time will tell. I would like to be here, without a doubt.
“It’s going to take time to make Villa a major club and a major team challenging for honours but they are exciting times for the club.”