Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday August 19 2006
Martin O'Neill has spoken of the Villa teams performance today after he saw Olof Mellberg become the first player ever to score in a 1-1 draw at the new Arsenal ground, the Emirates Stadium.
O'Neill said 'The players deserved everything they got today. I was delighted for the players. I thought the effort of the team was fantastic. They showed a great deal of character and a result and performance like that can only give the players confidence going into the Reading game.'
'It's hard to single players out after that sort of performance. You could point to the central defenders, right through to Juan Pablo Angel at the other end. They all worked hard and when you look at some of the young lads we have, it was easy to forget just how young they are today. We battled, but when we got it down, we played some good stuff as well.'
Adding: 'Let's not forget, we've just fought hard for a point against a side that finished runners-up in the Champions; League last season. It was backs-to-the-wall at times, but we didn't let our heads drop at any time and, even when Arsenal equalised, the players worked hard for a point. I would have been really disappointed for the players if they had missed out on at least a point, because they worked hard for what they got here.'
O'Neill also mentioned the travelling fans and actually took the players over to them at the end of the game, he said: 'The away support was fantastic. They kept us going, kept us at it.'
You won't get better away support than the travelling claret and blue army, and I'm sure with something to sing about, Villa Park will once again become a noisy fortress that will intimidate opponents.
Date:Saturday August 19 2006
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