Sod January - Villa Must Focus
Martin O'Neill is talking sense as per usual, he says that although the January transfer window can't come quickly enough, it is the here and now that they have to compete in.
'January might only be just over a month away, but we've got a lot of big games to play. So we have to compete now, as best we can, because we can't change things. We're not good enough to afford bad days at the office, or bad 45 minute periods, especially at home. We're a bit lightweight, but that's what we have and even if we wanted to, we can't do anything about that for quite some considerable time. I wasn't happy with the performance last night - we didn't do well enough - and eventually we deserved to get beat.'
'So far we've had that after our defeats, but it's at moments like this when you could do with your players fit. But every single team in the Premiership will have someone not fit at some stage. We have to be able to cope with it. After all, we are Aston Villa, and we're supposed to be able to cope with these things. In time, I think we will be able to. At the moment, we're unable to do so.'
And Gareth Barry has added to that saying more players are required for Villa to keep pushing forward in the league:
'Wednesday night was a reality check. It was a big eye opener for us. We didn't play like a team which is in the top five of the Premiership. The first 10 minutes set the tempo for the night. They took the game to us and we didn't look as sharp as Manchester City. There is always pressure on every game wherever you are in the league. I am not sure what was wrong. There have been a few games where we could have picked up points and we've probably had a few too many draws.
'Everyone knows we are exceeding expectations. We will still find ourselves in a healthy position in the table after a result like that. But the manager knows and the squad here knows we need a few faces to come in and strengthen us up. The squad has been over-achieving. Our main aim was to improve and get into the top half. We have still made a good start.'
'However, if we are going to strengthen in January, we need to get as many points on the board as we can now and it is important we don't throw away what we've done so far.'
Certainly make it easier to attract the 'stars' if we are in shouting distance of Europe won't it? Who knows, if we can carry on 'over achieving' then get some quality in January, maybe would pull off a European miracle this year? The league is certainly wide open. Mind you, if we are in amongst it, will the top teams really sell players to someone in competition with them?