Is this a shape up or ship out warning? Certainly looks like it as Villa manager Marin O'Neill has warned the underperforming Villa stars that they have until the New Year to prove their worth.
He told the Birmingham Mail:
'I want another two months of football before I start to make a genuine and concerted judgment on the players here, and that's on players who have played pretty often. You can imagine how less informed I'd be on those who have played less. Once I make my mind up I may stick with it but at the moment I'm deliberating.'
He also talks of the Czech Republic star Milan Baros who has yet to really explode onto the scene for Villa:
'The confidence element of football is so, so important. Some confidence in players can be very strong, and in other cases it can be less so. With some people it can be very brittle. I remember as a player if you started a game brightly and got early touches, and if you were lucky enough to score a goal or make a goal, you were flying. Milan came in when the side was going okay after not being able to get into the starting line-up, then Luke Moore got injured and Milan got a chance.'
Adding: 'In truth, he is short of what I would call serious match-play fitness. But then again, how do you get there? You'd be hoping that there would be much more to his game when he gets that,' he explained. But as a manager I have a duty to win some football games, incorporating all of those aspects at the same time.'
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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