Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday December 11 2007
Speaking recently to the official site, our manager explained that the team are determined to get back to winning ways against Sunderland but that morale has been dented by the losses and the players aren't quite as spring as they were.
It could just be the cold though.
'There is a different atmosphere to training when you've lost a few games, It's not that people don't enjoy training because when they get out on the pitch they are fine.
'But you sometimes lose that old spring in the step that carries you when you've won a game. You feel that life is rosy and you can take on the whole world.
'I'm not saying that it's disappeared but it goes into the back pocket for a moment.
'We'll get it right. It's far from doom and gloom around the place though because I think overall we're doing well.
'There's natural dissatisfaction because of two straight defeats. Portsmouth in particular was disappointing because we went into the game thinking we could win it.
'The goals came at really bad times for us. We were on the back foot immediately after an early own-goal and then Muntari scored an absolute screamer when we were forcing the pace and trying to get back into the game.
'We went in at half-time 2-0 down but we could have been 2-2 at least. Gabby had a chance just before half-time and earlier it looked easier for Martin Laursen to score than to miss with a header.
'Even at 2-0 going into the second half, I still felt we were in the game but then Muntari scored again.'
Paul Merson has questionned whether Villa have a plan B when we do get hiccups within a game and it's a fair point. Gareth Barry has commented that we seem to be better away from home as we rely on the counter attack more than anything which really proves Merse's point. When teams tighten up against us at Villa Park we are left clueless for fresh ideas on ways to get a goal.
However, it has to be said that the two losses have come against Arsenal and we were very unlucky to not take at least a point, and then Pompey who have been on a run of good form themselves of late. The days of thinking of Pompey as inferior opposition are long over and people shouldn't be over reacting to that loss.
What we need to see now is a bit more invention at home and a continuation of the away form we have seen of late.
If we get that, then people will start being happy again and the players can bounce around like rabbits.
Date:Tuesday December 11 2007
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