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O'Neill & Hughes Post Match

O'Neill & Hughes Post Match

Martin O'Neill has spoken to on the 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

The Villa boss explained that at half time they decided to make changes to go for the win:

'At half-time we tried to get some more width to our game and Ashley into the game more. He produced a wonderful goal and we could have won it after that. Marlon had a header hit the bar, we had a disallowed goal and Ashley saw another free-kick just narrowly miss. But it wasn't to be. Scott made a great save from the penalty in the first half, although I have watched the incident again and I think it is a pretty harsh decision. If we had been awarded a similar one at the other end, I would have counted myself very lucky.'

He also said it was a battle and he was happy to get something out of the game.

'Blackburn made it difficult for us. People forget that if they had hung on for the win, they would have been level on points with us. We had a chance to go fourth but that's gone now. These games are really tough.'

Mark Hughes disagrees and says Blackburn deserved the win. He told their official site

'Although this hasn't been a happy hunting ground for us, and beforehand we would probably have taken a point, I thought we deserved all three. We changed our shape and system to try and counteract their threat while creating an attacking threat of our own and it worked well.' Adding 'There were some big performances individually, many of them from players who were carrying knocks and slight injuries. We've played twelve Premier League away games now and lost only twice. When you consider that one of those was at Old Trafford it shows how well we have done on our travels. We need to replicate that sort of return at home and we'll be looking to do so against Everton next weekend.'

He also explained his five man midfield tactics 'We set out to counter Villa's threat from set-pieced and I think I'm right in saying that no-one has scored more than them in such situations this season. Although they equalised from one, I thought we handled it well, and to be honest I thought the award of the free-kick that lead to their goal was a little harsh. We would call it a soft free-kick.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Writer:J P Fear
Date:Saturday January 26 2008
Time: 6:39PM


Hughes! Fat headed *****. According to he, Blackburn shouldn't ever have lost a game since he took charge.
26/01/2008 22:02:00
I like Mark Hughes - sensible, solid manager, who has done wonders with a limited budget since taking over at Blackburn. If we didn't have MON in charge, i'd take Hughes any day of the week. I think both managers' comments are pretty consistent relative to the game I saw...
27/01/2008 01:17:00
Good comments YatesyVillain. Hughes has built a pretty impressive side at Ewood Park. Strong, competitive, but very talented, full of individuals who if allowed the time and space, can cause you serious trouble. There was very little between the sides at Ewood Park (despite the flattering scoreline), and that was again the case yesterday. Disappointing performance/result, but we hung in there, came back, and took a point from a game we could easily have lost. Fair comments from both managers. Different viewpoints, but that's understandable.
27/01/2008 07:19:00
I too like Mark Hughes, and think he's doing a great job at Blackburn, but he does have an element of the "Brucies" about him. He likes a good complain, and i don't think a referee has ever made a decision in Blackburns favour. Still, a fair result.
27/01/2008 09:16:00
mr hughes seems to have forgot the soft penalty they got and constant diving from bentley the whole game,just going down far too easily any time he got a chance.dont like hughes,nothing but a moaning whingeing *****er any time his side dont win.thought the ref had a nightmare by the way.UTV
Belfast Villain
27/01/2008 12:47:00
At the end of the day, we didn't play particularly well, certainly not well enough to win. Hughes is no doubt annoyed that after leading 1-0, and with us below par, his side failed to nail home their advantage.
11/02/2008 18:29:00
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