Former Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor has the perfect tonic for supporters downbeat at the thought of losing Gareth Barry.
He believes with or without him, Villa are on the verge of becoming a major European force again and is even predicting them to break into the elusive top four and play Champions League football sooner rather than later.
Villa have not been a major European threat for years and last won European honours in the early 1980s with a European Cup win in 1982 and the European Super Cup a year later but Taylor, who has twice managed Villa, believes they are on the way back.
He is delighted with the upsurge in the club’s fortunes in just two years since Martin O’Neill has been at the helm.
Taylor, who managed Villa from 1987-1990 and was hugely successful before moving on to manage England, said: “Villa have had some catching up to do because there have been some missed opportunities in days gone by.
“But that is in the past now and Villa look like they can reclaim their place in the upper echelons. I certainly hope they can do that.”
He added: “It will take a lot of hard work but Martin O’Neill is well on his way to leading the club back to glory land. I expect him to get them back in the top four and Champions League football on a regular basis. If he does that then there will be no one happier than me.”
Taylor continued: “I have known Martin for many, many years and there is a simplicity about his football. He gets that from his mentor Brian Clough.
“If you are a defender your job is to defend, if you are a centre-forward you are there to score goals, if you are a winger you are there to get crosses in.
“With Martin you will see a more organised side who play simple, progressive, winning football. That will satisfy the majority of supporters particularly at a club where they have been off the top for a lot of years.”