Friday 28 October 2016

Vlaar could stick with Villa

Published 20/04/2015 | 22:46

Ron Vlaar, left, celebrates with Jores Okore at the end of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final
Ron Vlaar, left, celebrates with Jores Okore at the end of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final

Ron Vlaar has revealed he could yet sign a new deal with Aston Villa this summer.

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The defender is out of contract at the end of the season and was expected to quit the club, with talks on hold until they seal survival in the Barclays Premier League.

But after helping Villa to the FA Cup final against Arsenal after Sunday's 2-1 win over Liverpool, Vlaar insisted it is possible he could extend his stay.

"Yes it is," said the 30-year-old, who signed from Feyenoord in 2012. "Things have changed for me in the past few months since (Tim) Sherwood took over.

"It's been a hard season for me with all the injuries. Now I just want to play and be important for the team. This helps - you can trust me on that.

"I don't know about my future but to be part of this feels so good. To feel the joy and relief after the West Brom game (the quarter-final). So many people came on the pitch.

"The impact for the fans; how big this club and what it all means - I called my dad and said 'This really means something'. It's great. Everything helps."

Vlaar helped Villa to their first FA Cup final in 15 years after Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph scored to shock Liverpool at Wembley following Philippe Coutinho's opener.

Villa are still in danger of going down but Vlaar insisted they deserved their victory and he has been blown away by the Cup.

"It feels really good - unbelievable. This is just so big for the club and the fans," said the Holland international.

"I'm not that familiar with the English FA Cup. I don't think I realised just how big it is. You can just see it in the stands and out there on the pitch with us. It's massive.

"It's great and I think we really deserved it, to get through to the final.

"We showed great character after losing Nathan (Baker) so early and then going behind.

"We've shown we can do that. We did it against QPR. We got the equaliser within a few minutes. The team spirit is really good."

Shay Given had little to do, although was bailed out when Kieran Richardson cleared Steven Gerrard's late header off the line, and the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper believes they can win the Cup.

He added: "We know Arsenal are the favourites and it is going to be a tough game but we got through against the favourites today as well and we know within the camp we have got a really good team spirit and we have got a chance.

"I thought we deserved to win as well - I think the neutral or even a die-hard Liverpool fan would say we deserved to win the game."

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