Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday March 6 2008
Martin O'Neill has had another crack at managers our expectations following our fantastic performance against Arsenal.
He has said that just as he doesn't judge the team on matches where we are second best for 60 minutes, he equally doesn't want fans to suddenly expect our 'Arsenal performance' each and every week - well, not yet at any rate.
Speaking to the Evening Mail, our manager was quick to point out that this early in our growth we don't have the depth or the options of others, and whilst we should all be over the moon given our current placing and the performances and results we have taken from the so called Big 4 this season, we still have a way to go before we can begin to expect that level of consistency.
'There's a lot to make up a whole season but it is the sides who can hang in during games where they haven't played particularly well in a match and get something out of a game that eventually determines their position at the end of the season.
'The great sides - all the top four sides - have got the necessary equipment and the back-up to be able to do it.
'I am hoping that this club in the future will be able to sustain things.'
With the infrastructure in place now, I like many are looking forward to an interesting summer. I completely agree with MON not going out and just signing numbers but given our season so far more players will be looking at us as a club that can challenge and sustain a challenge, so doors to players that would've been closed last summer or in January, should now be slightly ajar - I'm hoping we take full advantage of this as we all know we cannot continue with such a small squad - especially with Melly off.
'I wouldn't judge our season on how poor some might have perceived us to be for 60 minutes up at Anfield, a lot of teams can go there and be poor for 60 minutes.
'I wouldn't even judge our season on how brilliant we were last Saturday.
'It is a level of performance that we are finding.'
Arsenal was so good because we played for the whole 90 minutes, far too often this season our consistency has been lacking for 45. If that wierd truth can be beaten we will see more games like Arsenal, of that I'm sure.
As a final comment, O'Neill also said he wasn't too disappointed with the conceeding of late goals that have stopped us from memorable wins, believing that they even up over the course of the season.
'We have conceded a couple of late goals at both Liverpool and Arsenal.
'But they can be countered by the couple of late goals we scored against Fulham at home and Birmingham away when Gabby scored a great goal towards the end of the game.
'That was brilliant.'
Date:Thursday March 6 2008
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