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Byline: Mat Kendrick

than "Gabby GABBY Agbonlahor is having specialist coaching sessions with Villa fitness guru s

Agbonlahor is challenging Emile s start alongside Darren Bent against Stoke today after netting the winner at West Ham.

He was demoted to the substitutes bench at Upton Park last weekend but responded with the decisive headed goal.

And Villa assistant boss Gary McAllister revealed how working with conditioning coach Duverne was helping the Brummie striker.

Duverne has trained French superstars David Trezguet and Thierry Henry during his previous role with the French national team.

"Gabby is looking sharp and looking fit in training and for a good spell now competition is hot, which is good," said McAllister.

"I honestly think he will prosper working with Robert Duverne, who brings something a bit different to the table.

"Gabby has never worked with someone who has worked with David Trezguet, Thierry Henry and with Anderson, the Brazilian lad at Lyon."

McAllister revealed that Duverne specialises in working with strikers - and Villa hope the French coach can harness Agbonlahor's pace with his strong physique.

"I think the sort of stuff that Robert does benefits strikers in particular with sharpness and little quick feet things and I think Gabby is starting to reap the rewards of that," said McAllister.

"He is very specialist and Robert is probably better for the forward guys than the defenders.

"Gabby is very quick of movement, absolutely, and he is definitely looking sharper and stronger.

"Having Darren Bent - and of course Emile Heskey - here does help him and he can recapture his best form." Villa are likely to remain unchanged from the starting XI who picked up three valuable points at Upton Park a week ago.

But McAllister admits Agbonlahor's impact has added to the competition for places up front.

"He looked very sharp but, having said that, we trained with 18 outfield players yesterday and everyone of them looked sharp,'' he added.

"They are all buzzing and fighting for places so I am picking from a full squad.

"You look at the results and you have got to stay loyal to the guys who have got results. There is no need for change when we've won two on the bounce for the first time in a while.

"He is working extremely hard and is in as good a shape as we've seen him since we arrived.

"But the competition is very hot. We've got lots of able front guys.

Fabian Delph is available after recovering from a slight groin strain.


Buzzing: Gabby Agbonlahor is looking sharp again after having coaching sessions with Robert Duverne.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 23, 2011
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