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Pivotal Week In Villa Life

Pivotal Week In Villa Life

Martin O'Neill has called this week a potentially pivotal few days in our season as we entertain Boro and Pompey with only a few hours in reality between them.

I would've mixed this article into the former MON one if I'd realised, but rather than talking generally about our hopes for the season this one probably deserves it's own slot given the content anyway.

Speaking on the official site O'Neill has previously commented on the wonders of taking the mid seasonish break to recharge batteries and the benefits of giving players bulk time off when no games are scheduled, but here he talks about the downside of missing games and then being in a position of playing catchup.

Over a 3 day period this week we face a Boro team who will be determined to put their Cup nightmare behind them, and then a Pompey team who are probably still merry after their fantastic win over the whingers from Manc Land.

'It's a massive week. We've got two games in three days and I think it's a very important time for us.

'Everything's important anyway, but it's magnified now because we don't have the time or the games to put it right if it goes wrong.

'Whereas before if it was mid-season, you think 'oh well' and move to the next game and put it right. Now it's down to the real crunch time - we've got 10 games left and we need to win quite a few of them.'

There probably isn't a worse time to play both teams. Boro will be looking to bounce back and Pompey have b een on form and dangerous all season, so with the boost of confidence they will now have we will certainly have a struggle on our hands.

Ideally we want to be taking 6 points. Realistically I don't see at this stage that 4 points would be enough to keep in the Euro hunt. 2-3 points only certainly isn't with the 8 point gap.

'Is it potentially pivotal? I do feel it's a very important week in terms of our hopes because after we play Portsmouth, we're down to eight games. And while there are still 24 points available from eight games, it becomes less room for error.'

Speaking about the break in true MON style lots will see this as him giving the team an out if things go wrong - I somehow doubt he has been making the same comments to them!

'The negative about the break is that teams were given a chance to get ahead of us. Psychologically it can be better if you're not playing catch-up all the time.

'But at the same time I don't think we can worry too much about what's happening elsewhere. So I'm not overly concerned about it.

'The one issue is that after a break we've now got two games in three days. But I suppose we should be fresher than Middlesbrough, who were in FA Cup action.

'The fact is that the break couldn't be avoided and therefore we've just got to deal with it.'

It's going to be a fun packed final 10 games isn't it boys and girls!

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

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Writer:Mike Field
Date:Monday March 10 2008
Time: 3:11PM


I think this is the make or break week for us. That 8 point gap is going to look massive if we fail to beat Boro. Pompey away is always a tough game but we are so good on the break I do think we can win there.
10/03/2008 15:30:00
We don't need to worry about you lot anymore, the title is on its way to goodison. 10 behind arsenal and still play them at goodison.... lol. What a day the last day would be, sending newcastle down and winning the league, it can't get much better than that
10/03/2008 15:32:00
I'd agree with you on some points evertonmike. mainly the newcastle going down part. if liverpool do you and you go out of europe it could be a different story though. it aint over until the fat lady sings. in may.
10/03/2008 15:41:00
Seeing the toon go down would be the highlight of my football supporting career. Never met a bunch of arrogant supporters so difficult to get on with.
10/03/2008 15:59:00
I obviously don't think we'll win the league, but if we go on a run now we could very realisticly end up 5 ish points off top. Which would be fantastic for a club with our spending power.
10/03/2008 16:27:00
Hope you don't get into Europe Mike, your Champs league exploits of a couple of years back was nothing short of embarrassing. Your good run has come to an end with the curse of the Manager of the month award. Rather see anyone there than the "2 player team" that is Liverpool though.
10/03/2008 16:35:00
It looks like 5th place is only availble spot for a uefa place. Here at Pompey we doubt whether we would catch the scouse pair even if wanted. However as we have the FA Cup to worry about, you might find our league form drift somewhat. Making your visit to FP a bit easier than normally expected.
10/03/2008 17:07:00
next two games will certainly shape our season for sure.
The Fear
10/03/2008 17:20:00
a win agaisnst boro is a must, they are low on form at the moment, pompey aint any good at home, so 6 points would see us close the gap a bit, just gotta keep winning, 1-0 or 6-5's doesnt matter get the points
10/03/2008 17:57:00
Yes our champs league exploits were for sure embarrassing you clown, losing thanks to having a perfectly good goal ruled out, against a side who got to the semis, how did you manage to live with the shame? OK the UEFA cup run after that wasn't so great, but CL wasn't embarrassing, not at all. Idiot.
10/03/2008 17:57:00
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