Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday March 15 2006
Comments after last nights exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester City.
Our captain, Olof Mellberg said Villa couldn't complain despite a good start.
'Obviously it's really disappointing, for us and for the fans. But we didn't play well enough over the two games against Manchester City and they created far more chances than we did. We started well enough, but the first goal lifted them and the second goal came at a really bad time for us. Maybe if our goal had come earlier, we might have taken something out of the game, but we didn't really do enough and the goal was too late.'
Telling it like it is, he also admits 'We had lots of free-kicks in good positions, but didn't really make the most of them. It is frustrating, but we are out of the cup now.'
He also says the team had hoped a cup run would help the team with their league form, but says 'now we have to lift ourselves for the last nine games of the season. We've lost two games together now and we have another very hard game at Everton on Saturday.'
David O'Leary thanked the fans and told the official site: 'It wasn't our night and I feel sorry for the supporters. They were terrific and they have to drive home knowing we're out of the cup for another year.'
Yup, yet another wasted season with no chance of Europe.
Adding: 'I can't fault the players for effort, but the simple fact is that we gifted them two goals and it was asking too much to come back from that. The second goal was a killer, coming so soon after the break and then our goal came too late to make a difference.'
He was also questioned by Sky Sports after the game and refused to enter into the blame game saying he would keep the conversations within the dressing room. Good policy, hope he continues with that!
Despite the awful run of injuries, he said: 'I can't say too much about it, because people think I'm making excuses, but things didn't go right for us right from the start of the day.'
Villa lost Angel to an ankle injury, Milner and Hendrie to a bug, Berger was injured in the warm up and Baros twisted his ankles and left the field of play after 40 minutes.
Looking ahead to the end of the season, he added: 'I've said to the players that we still have nine games left this season and we can't afford to let the season drift. We've got 27 points to play for and we want to finish as high up the table as possible.'
Only a top ten will be an acceptable way to finish yet another awful season, but lets get some safety first!?
Date:Wednesday March 15 2006
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