Writer: Mike Field
Date:Monday March 17 2008
That's the worst headline I could think of, but Olof Mellberg is adamant Villa can still qualigy for Europe before he leaves for Italy.
Despite his optimism when speaking on the official site, it must be acknowledged that he says 'we need a hell of a run,' and by God do we if we hope to salvage the automatic European dream from this campaign.
Too many hiccups, too many errors and way too many dropped points have put a slight downer on our season - but I still maintain it shows how far we have come, despite small squad, general whinges etc, for us to be disappointed with where we sit in the league.
We only have 8 games left, and Mellberg believes:
'It is still possible, we can still qualify but we obviously need a hell of a run. We are ten points behind Liverpool, and it is tough because they are playing really well at the moment.
'We are obviously aware of the situation with Portsmouth and the teams behind us as well, like Blackburn and Manchester City.
'We want to try and finish as high as we can. Right now it is all about performances. We must try to raise our game for Sunderland and just take it from there.'
After Boro and Pompey we need to bounce back against Sunderland. Our match against them earlier in the season wasn't exactly easy so we shouldn't be going into the match thinking we will walk over them - they won't let us. But if we can go into the game with half of the performance we put in against Arsenal, to be fair if we could've gone into most games this season with that attitude we'd be in first place, but we can certainly take 3 points from Keane's boys.
'I've said all along that I want to finish at Villa on a winning note. We are obviously all down now because of the last couple of games but apart from that it has been a good season.
'If we can get onto a good run now we will end on a high and that would be massive for me.'
I don't think there is any doubt that Mellberg desperately wants to leave us on a high. After so many years service it would be fitting for him to move on for his last swansong with us well placed to go on and achieve what we never could during his years at the club.
Date:Monday March 17 2008
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