Aston Villa manager David O’Leary has signed a three-and-a-half year contract extension with the Premier League club.

The new deal extends the former Leeds manager’s contract until 2008. O’Leary’s decision comes on the back of both his assistants, Roy Aitken and Steve McGregor, penning new deals.

“I always wanted to remain with Villa but it was important to me that Roy and Steve, who are an integral part of my team, should also stay for the same length of time,” said O’Leary.

“Someone has to try and put Aston Villa back where they should belong and I’m up for the challenge although I know there is a lot to do.

“As I’ve said before, I want to make sure by the end of the five years I would have been in charge that Villa are achieving top six finishes in the Premiership on a regular basis.

“But to achieve that, and take the next step forward, we do need to bring in quality players and I would like a couple next month if at all possible to set us on the way.”

O’Leary took over at Villa Park in May 2003 after the departure of Graham Taylor.