Martin O'Neill has said he isn't a big fan of the InterToto Cup which Villa won in 2002, but admits be willing to enter the team into it as a way of getting into Europe.
'If you want my honest opinion, I'm not a big fan. The reason being that I thought players would need longer breaks during the summer...I think it's a big ask expecting players to step out of there and then needing one or two of them to step into an InterToto game.'
'Apart from the very obvious benefit of getting into Europe, the only thing I will say is that, with the breaks getting shorter and shorter, if teams use some of the younger players who are maybe itching to get in, maybe coming back a week earlier and using those games for pre-season games has a benefit. A couple of years ago, even with Leicester, I wouldn't have been overly keen on it. But now, if you were thinking about using younger players and blooding them, then there might be an element to that.'
'That's not me covering both bases. Initially I would have said 'InterToto, why?', if you hadn't been good enough to play in European football. But if there's a group of young players - the likes of Isaiah and people like that who haven't played that much during the course of a season - maybe getting them back ten days earlier would be something to consider.'
I always remember Paul 'magic' Merson talking about the inter-two-bob saying it was good and that it gave players the match fitness much quicker and meant the team got off to a better start in the Premiership. If we can get some strength in depth squad wise to cover for injuries setting in earlier, then why not? That said, we'll qualify for Europe through the league this season anyway....... won't we?!
So, our latest poll asks whether you think we should enter if we don't qualify through the league or FA Cup (now that would be a dream!)
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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