Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday March 22 2008
Martin O'Neill believes Villa wasted a fantastic opportunity, erm, yes I'd have to agree.
We gifted Sunderland their first away win of the season. We again dropped 3 points that should have been ours. 2 points taken from a maximum of 12 - says it all.
This season will not go down in history for our growth, or our achievement, sadly it will go down as another season we blew a fantastic chance to surpass ourselves, or worse still it will be remembered in the same vain as 1992. We bottled it.
Speaking on the official site, after the Blunderland result, Martin O'Neill said:
'It's been a poor day. It was particularly disappointing because today was the opportunity for us to get back on track, to go and force the pace and force a win.
'We didn't necessarily have to play wonderfully well; it was just about winning the game. But not only did we fail to win it, we lost it. I understand the frustrations of the fans. This is something that we have to put right.'
Too many times this season have we had to put things right, our consistency, the form of some who will remain nameless, and of course the inevitable lack of signings.
We can forget about Europe now, what we need to do is salvage some pride and ensure we finish as high as possible so that any plans O'Neill has for players in the summer can still take place.
It's cat and mouse, you need better players to win things, but you need to win things to get the better players.
'We didn't do well enough for long enough again today. There were misplaced passes and the wind obviously didn't help.
'Then what happens with eight or nine minutes to go, as we were thinking there was still a chance to force a winning goal, we conceded a really lousy goal to lose the game. It was a very poor goal from out viewpoint.'
Sorry, the wind. The wind didn't cause Sunderland to blow the match did it? If you keep the ball on the floor the wind plays no part anyway.
'I think the one goal was obviously going to win it today. We looked nervous, but we had to be the team to get that breakthrough and it didn't happen for us.
'It's up to us. We came back from the Emirates Stadium a couple of weeks ago in an absolutely buoyant mood. We were obviously disappointed at not winning the game.
'But we were looking forward to the rest of the season, thinking we could eke out results, as we have done during the course of the season.
'But it's just failed to materialise. That's three games now where we've not done enough to win the football matches.'
It's more than 3 games sadly and that's why we are imploding. As said we can kiss Europe goodbye now. But we still have to fight for every point - if we allow ourselves to slip further down the table then our final placing really does not reflect the effort and achievement we have made this season.
Date:Saturday March 22 2008
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