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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

O'Neill Rues Lack Of Cutting Edge

Martin O'Neill rued the lack of a cutting edge as Villa finished 1-1 against a poor Middlesbrough at Villa Park.

O'Neill said: 'In many ways it was a frustrating afternoon for us. I thought we played some very nice football at times, but all too often we didn't have a cutting edge. But we showed the character to come from a goal behind and I thought, as the second-half wore on, we never stopped pushing for a winner. It wasn't to be and that is hard on the players. The game just exploded into life at the end of the first-half. I haven't yet seen their goal on TV, but I understand it was offside. Those things happen and you have to get on with it.'

'We didn't let our heads drop and in virtually the next instant, we launched a great attack and had the penalty. I gather they're not too pleased with the penalty decision, but these things even themselves out don't they - not always as quickly as that. Gareth deserves a lot of credit for scoring yet another penalty. He put one away very confidently in training yesterday and I was very calm as he stepped-up. I had every confidence he was going to score.'

'Even if we hadn't got the penalty, I was confident we had enough to score in the second-half. As it turned out, I was wrong there, but we never stopped trying.'

Match report to follow.......






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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 25 2006

Time: 6:28PM

Your Comments

Very few defeats but the draw specialists!
merlin
The excitement of events off the park is seemingly only matched by the predictability of what is happening on the park. Perhaps when Petrov moaned about the SPL what he really meant was that the referees were getting wise to his tactics...
ForeverHoop
ForeverHoop I take it by your remarks your missing Petrov, cant blame a player for moving to a higher division.
col8
know the feeling have the same issue at hull......a game really that you should have won....lost points....
ernshaw
Played some decent stuff, could, should have won. We are crying out for a quality finisher. We are impotent up front, and while we're not losing games, its frustrating because many of these draws should have been three pointers. Thought Baros looked lively when he came on.
glensider
I'm not missing Petrov at all and neither am I missing Martin O'Neill. Although there aren't many of my fellow Celtic fans who would say it, perhaps the best thing to happen to us was MON leaving when he did. Strachan has shown that winning matches is about belief more than flashing the money about. Though I do feel sorry for MON, as he has to produce the goods otherwise his reputation will be in tatters.
ForeverHoop
Do us all a favour and worry about your own tin pot league, we will proberly have all your good players in the summer anyway.
silkie villain
theve got none left have they ?
JASON
Thought Angel had a good game yesterday, clever passes and good hold up, ref robbed us, their goal was a disgrace. Every single premiership match has some controversy nowadays that costs teams points, its needs sorting out. Cahill and Ridgy looking solid at the back, he was unlucky with the little flick,
son_of_cher
From what i've seen you ran them ragged and their goal should of been disallowed! Unlucky! you should be sitting in 3rd!!
BaldyYid
we need a striker who can score
Newman
According to Sunday Mercury MON is keen on red scouse Craig Bellamy. Yet another Hoops old mucker!
Budgie
Craig Bellamy is shocking - pyscho midget. Who needs someone that is going to upset the dressing room. Please, Please do not let this story have any substance to it. Go for Bent, the best English striker in the league by a long way.
mackaavfc
We're going to be linked to anyone who comes within a 50 mile radius of Villa Park. Bellamy is a horrible link and he's certainly not doing it for Redscouse. Some have questioned Defoe but I'd prefer him.
Gazvilla
The sort of performance that makes us question just what the rest of the season holds in store for us.
glensider
 

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