Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
Tony Morley has spoken about the return of Villa legend Ron Saunders who will be at the Manchester United game on Saturday.
Our former flying winger Morley told the Sunday Mercury:
'It's not only a great gesture by the new owner to honour Ron, but it will give kids the chance to see him. Had he stayed, I think Villa would have gone on to be the team of the 80s and Ron would have been the club's greatest ever manager. Instead, it was Everton who dominated in the years straight after and a lot of our FA Youth Cup team never came through.'
'It will be great to see him at Villa next week, though - it'll be a special day for the fans.'
And on Ron's management style he added that the manager would play mind games to get the best out of his players: 'The other players in the team would get a pat on the back and a 'well done', but I don't think Gary, Gordon or I ever got any praise. I'd score two goals and make the other, but Ron would just tell me I only made one tackle! Gordon was told he couldn't pass water and Ron would tell Gary he was too flash! It worked as we went out every game to prove him wrong.'
'I once went into his office knowing that Spurs and Manchester United were interested in signing me. In fact, I'd spoken to Ron Atkinson that day. He told me there'd been two clubs asking about me. I acted surprised and said: 'Who are they?'. He replied: 'Halifax and Rochdale. Now realise how lucky you are to be here and get out!'.'
'A lot of people thought Ron and I didn't get on, but we were both from the same part of the country and got on well. A lot of people think Ron was a dour character, but there was a real sense of humour in there.'
Ron resigned from Villa over a contract disagreement with the board.
'But when he left Villa, there was a lot of politics going on behind the scenes that we didn't know about. Maybe he got wind that Doug Ellis was coming back because there is no way those two could have worked together.'
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
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