Tickets Still Available

John Moncur is out of the squad for the Aston Villa game tonight - for which tickets are still available - and also misses the Manchester United match through suspension.

There are still some tickets to buy from the ticket office for an attractive fixture that usually produces a hard fought contest.

John obviously doesn't need one but will be a frustrated spectator, as he would otherwise have expected a place on the bench.

"I picked up a strain in the back of my knee and had a scan a couple of days ago which reveals a tear," explains John.

"I did it coming on at Sunderland in the last 10 minutes and it is annoying, especially when you are only on for 10 minutes, and are flying about trying to impress the manager so you are in his plans.

"I just crunched through the challenge, won the ball and I just caught my studs somehow; it is just one of those unfortunate incidents."

John misses the trip to Old Trafford through suspension after accumulating five bookings this season, so now has his sights set on the home clash against Arsenal on December 15 as a comeback target.

"Missing the Manchester United game gives the leg a chance to heal so I won't be pushing it too far," he says.

"I am desperate to play in any game now at my age especially, but when Lomy came back it put me down the pecking order, which was disappointing.

"I don't feel I have done too much wrong but unfortunately since the Blackburn game I have dropped out.

"I have got to keep cracking away; I just want to impress the gaffer and if I can get in there and do well, and the results go well, that is what I'm aiming for."

The defeat at Blackburn was his last start for the club, and he recalls: "I hadn't played the match before when we got done 5-0, then I came off at half time in the Blackburn game but it got no better in the second half and anyone could have gone off, to be honest.

"I was really low after that because I saw it as a chance to get in, that's the circumstances and it is a shame it didn't work out results-wise, but I just want to try and change that because I still feel fit enough - with a point to prove."

It had been reported that he considered quitting the game after that match, but he quips: "I think everyone did."

John insists he is still equipped to give the midfield challengers a good run for their money, and he adds: "In the Leeds, Liverpool, and Reading games I was doing okay but there are are a lot of bodies round that are going to play.

"Hutch has signed and I haven't had a chance recently apart from 40 minutes against Spurs, but that's the way football is.

"I just want the chance to impress; I still want to play, and I don't care how old you are, I still have the same brain as I did at 18, the same ambition to play for the club you love.

"This injury won't last too long, touch wood. I haven't had a long term injury for some time and the general fitness is good.

"I don't lose fitness quickly but I look at some players that have a bad run, like Ian Pearce, and feel for them."

He says he is not playing for a new contract as such, adding: "I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I want do as well as I can for this last year and if I was to get another year it would be a great bonus, but I'm not going to bang Glenn's door down.

"I don't think it would be a priority for the manager."

John is hoping for a change of luck against Aston Villa and says: "Watching against Charlton I thought we'd won it and we were the better team by far at Sunderland; we could've been 2-0 or 3-0 up so those games have been a bit of a travesty.

"At least we are playing well but the results are not going for us. At the end of day results are everything and we have got some hard games coming up.

"But if we get a good one against Villa we are flying again."

Squad: James, Hislop, Andersson, Schemmel, Winterburn, Repka, Minto, Dailly, Foxe, Sinclair, Potts, Carrick, Hutchison, Cole, Courtois, McCann, Di Canio, Defoe, Kitson, Todorov.