Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday April 3 2008
Martin O'Neill has called Bolton not only a must win match, but the most important match of the season.
After a severe drop in form lately we find ourselves in 8th place, 8 point adrift of Everton and 4 adrift of Portsmouth.
We still have the intertwobob to fight for and mathematically we can still make automatic qualification although that is hugely unlikely in my mind.
One thing is for sure after our recent losses, anythink other than 3 points this weekend and the only european trip we'll get is if you go abroad for your summer holidays.
O'Neill continued on the official site:
'We're all running out of games now and Bolton will know the urgency of their situation. They'll be very disappointed after being 2-0 up against Arsenal who were down to 10 men and then going onto lose the game in the last minute.
'March (for us) was not a great month in terms of results, but we're still in with a shout - a really good shout - of finishing in sixth. We've just got to go and win a game.
'It's only a few weeks since the team was being lauded for a great performance down at Arsenal and I don't want that to be the highlight of the season.'
O'Neill also wanted to point out that despite recent failures the side has made good progress this season and that the growth is there for all to see. For me I do agree here, afterall at the beginning of the season nobody really imagined we'd be 'disappointed' at missing out on Europe. Even the most optimistic of us, me included, thought with some luck we might scrape the last place but it certainly wasn't being looked at as a failure if we didn't make it.
'I think if we look at it, there's been real sensible progress made here and we want to get there. What's the point in wallowing around in mediocrity? You've got to go and try to charge on.
'I accept the fact that the expectation is very high. I've always said I welcome that - I want it to be high. Now what we have to do as a football team and as a football club is try and match that expectation from the fans.
'Winning is what it's all about. For the most part of the season I've had plenty of people complimenting the side on our refreshing approach to the game.
'Now we haven't scored for three games we have to pull ourselves together. We have to go on and win what to me is the most important game of the season.'
We'll soon know if we still have a chance and whilst I'll be crossing everything even when we were flying I can see Cahill coming back to bite us.
Date:Thursday April 3 2008
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|1.||Pride of Lions||952|
|6.||Villan Of The North||212|
|Crystal Palace||1||-||0||Aston Villa|
|Man Utd||4||-||1||Aston Villa|
|12. West Ham||35||10||7||18||-10||37|
|14. Hull City||34||10||6||18||-9||36|
|15. Aston Villa||34||9||8||17||-14||35|
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