Hughes urges Milner deal

Last updated : 27 March 2006 By Norris Winter

The 20-year-old is currently sidelined with a virus and his absence has been sorely missed - a void not lost on Hughes. The Northern Ireland defender, who played alongside Milner at St James' Park, said: "I think he would be a great signing for us. He's definitely one of the top young players in the country and the more games he plays the better he will get and hopefully that will be at Villa. When you give him the ball, he has the ability to go at people and make something happen. He has got quite a few assists this season."

Milner is currently out with a virus that has also laid low Hughes and striker Kevin Phillips, although the latter pair were fit enough to play in Saturday's goalless draw with Fulham. "There have been a few bits and pieces like that knocking around the place and it is difficult when you have got injuries as well," Hughes continued. "It's the last thing you need, but James has something similar to glandular fever. The sooner we get him back playing the better, and hopefully we do get him back before the end of the season."