Agbonlahor determined to repay Aston Villa boss O’Neill

He told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s surprised me to be as involved as I have this season, but as a young kid, that’s your aim.

“If you get a chance, it means you’re doing well and if the gaffer picks you every week, you don’t want to abuse your position.

“I’ve got to repay his faith in me and do well by him for all the times he’s picked me.

“Before the Reading match I was a bit tired and felt as if I needed a rest. During the game I felt jaded and tired and I had pains in my ankles and calves and I think that’s why I came off.

“It was still a surprise though – I turned around and when I saw the number 15, it felt weird really.

“The gaffer hadn’t warned me it was coming, but I was expecting it at some point, because no-one’s expected to play every single minute of every game for the whole season.

“The aim now is to get picked for the next game, do my best for the team and the gaffer so I can stay in the side between now and the end of the season and get a few more goals.

“Our main aim is to improve on last season because we finished poorly and, if we can improve on that, then that’s a plus.”