Aston Villa central defender Liam Ridgewell has dismissed speculation linking him with a loan move to Birmingham and has vowed to win back his first-team spot.
Ridgewell was a regular member of Martin O’ Neill’s side during the first half of the campaign after breaking into the senior side last season. But he is now down the pecking order behind first-choice pairing Olof Mellberg and Gary Cahill, while Martin Laursen is also available after injury.
Ridgewell was linked with a move to Blues before the January transfer window closed and then a temporary switch to St Andrew's this month. However, the England Under-21 international wants to re-establish himself at Villa Park.
Ridgewell said: "There was nothing in it regarding Birmingham as far as I know. Nobody got in touch with me about it, so as far as I know it was just talk.
"I can’t control transfer talk and speculation and it certainly wasn’t coming from me. I’m at Villa and we’ll see what happens over the next few months. I’m striving to get back in the side and disappointed to be out of it. But I’ve lost my place before and forced my way back in so it’s up to me to get back in now.
"It’s a test of character and I’m determined to come through it.
"To be fair, it’s not only me. There’s plenty of competition now, with new signings and people coming back to fitness, so there’s suddenly a few people trying to get into the team.
"That will make it interesting over the next few months."
Ridgewell would welcome a recall in Villa’s next match at Fulham on March 3 as he scored twice in the corresponding fixture last season, which ended in a 3-3 draw.