Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday November 9 2006
Martin O'Neill held his hands up after Villa were slaughtered 4-0 by Chelsea last night declaring: 'Let's be honest, we were beaten by probably the best team around tonight, but I want us to come to these places and compete.'
Not only did Villa suffer a major embarrassment on the pitch, they also saw inspirational skipper Gareth Barry and Danish international defender Martin Laursen limp off the field with injuries.
O'Neill said after the game, 'Next time I want to come here and compete. We did that when we came here in the League, but it wasn't to be tonight. I still thought at half-time, even though we were 1-0 down, that we could get back into the game and give them a run for their money. But the second goal was a killer and the third and fourth just put the icing on the cake for them.'
O'Neill, who went over after the game to thank the travelling claret and blue army who were 6000 strong added, 'The fans were terrific. I don't want this to sound in any way patronising, but myself and the players all appreciate the backing we got here tonight. I know the chairman put on the free travel, but supporters still have to pay for tickets and take time off work. That's a big commitment and we did appreciate. Unfortunately we didn't give them anything to cheer about and that was disappointing. We have to look at Chelsea and think that's where we want to be.'
'We know we've still got a long way to go and that will take a while, but in the short term, we need to pick ourselves up for the weekend.'
Next up, Everton, who were knocked out of the cup by Arsenal.
Date:Thursday November 9 2006
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