By Graham Hill
REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy believes Glenn Whelan should be a part of Villa’s Premier League plans next season.
And he says he and Ireland team-mate Conor Hourihane will be key assets for Dean Smith.
Former Wolves boss McCarthy was taking to Irish programme Off the Ball’s You Tube channel.
Out of contract Whelan, 35, says he had not been pushing for a new deal ahead of Villa’s Play-off Final against Derby.
But now that Villa know they will be playing in the Premier League next season, Whelan is hoping to be part of that squad.
And McCarthy says Whelan should not be discarded after some impressive displays for Villa earned him an internaqtioasnl recall.
McCarthy said: “Unfortunately, it’s one of those bitter-sweet ones when you get promoted.
“You’re never quite sure what is going to happen in terms of transfer quality.
“But the way the two of them played, it wouldn’t surprise me if Glenn’s there and he plays in the Premier League the way he keeps carrying on.
“I think Conor has been excellent this year, he certainly has been for us. If they’re both playing, it’s good for them and good for me.”