Crouch gets Taylors backing

Last updated : 17 December 2002 By VillaMAD

Taylor said: "We've had so many people asking to take Peter Crouch on loan but, even if he had not got injured, I wouldn't do that.

"Dion Dublin has done extremely well since he came back into the side but Peter will be a very valuable member of the Aston Villa team.

"He did well at the end of last season and it should also be remembered that he still has only a handful of games under his belt at Premiership level."

Crouch is now close to a return to fitness after a spell on the sidelines withtorn ankle ligaments.

"It's been disappointing to get injured but I'm almost back now. I'd say I'm about seven to 10 days away," said the Villa striker.

"It's quite painful but the swelling has gone down now. I'm looking to start running again in the next few days and I'm itching to start playing again.

"Christmas is a time we all want to be playing and when you need all your squad to be available."