Aston Villa defender Jores Okore explains his first-team absence, discusses his future

The 23-year-old centre-back has revealed that he has been demoted to the Under-21s by caretaker manager Eric Black after a disagreement between the pair.

Aston Villa defender Jores Okore has revealed to Danish outlet BT that he has been dropped from the club’s first-team after a disagreement with caretaker manager Eric Black.

Okore, 23, has not featured for Villa since last month’s 2-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and failed to even make the bench for the past two games against Bournemouth and Manchester United.

The Danish defender recently approach Black about his lack of playing time, but a subsequent falling out between the pair resulted in him being demoted to the Under-21s for the time being.

Explaining the situation, Okore told BT: "I have unfortunately been relegated to the U21 team. There is currently a situation between me and the manager. I've said things straight out to him, and it has then resulted in that I am not a part of the first-team squad right now.

"I told him that I think I deserve a fair chance to play and perform, and I think I've done well enough in the few matches I have played this season. This is the opinion I have given to him, but the manager was not happy with it and therefore he put me down on the U21 team.”

Okore also revealed that his agent had flown to Birmingham in the wake of his demotion to discuss the promising centre-back’s situation with senior officials at Villa Park.

"It was a meeting about the way I've handled things and what I said to the coach that he was not happy with, so they would like to just hear both me and the coach's opinion about what has been said between us,” Okore explained.

“It had come down to the Aston Villa manager, and he [my agent] would like to hear different opinions. Now we must see how far they take it, and what comes out of it.”

Okore has made 46 total appearances for Villa since joining the club from Danish side FC Nordsjælland in June 2013 for £4 million but has spent extended time on the sidelines over the past three seasons due to persistent knee problems.

However, the youngster has arguably been the team’s best defender when fully fit and recently revealed to Ekstra Bladet that he felt he had not been given a fair chance to establish himself in the line-up.

He also noted in the same interview that the club had failed to offer him a contract extension on his current deal which runs until the summer of 2017 and admitted that he would consider his future at Villa Park if the team were relegated.

Negotiations over fresh terms have still not begun over two months later and the eight-time capped Denmark international is unsure whether he has made his last appearance for the claret and blues.

He has ambitions to play at a “higher level” but accepts that he may ultimately have to stay at Villa to see out his contract in the Championship after a frustrating 2015-16 campaign.

"It's hard to say what's going to happen,” Okore added to BT. “I would obviously like to play at as high a level as possible, but it may also be that I will be at Aston Villa and complete my contract.”

After summer knee surgery delayed his start to the season, Okore has played 14 times for Villa since December, helping the club claim 11 of their 16 Premier League points in the process.

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