Europe Gives The Scouts A Job
Martin O'Neill has said he will use our scouts fully so that both he and the team are completely prepared for the European challenges that lay ahead.
With the announcement of our matches against Ajax, Hamburg, Slavia Prague and Zilina, we have to be honest and admit that although Group F is one of the most open groups in the competition and we've avoided the big boys, there are still good teams in our group and progression is by no means guaranteed.
Speaking on the official site, O'Neill talked about homework and preparation so that we can be as fully prepared as we possibly can.
'Now is where we do our homework - we will do as much as we can.
'The history of teams like Hamburg and Ajax is pretty immense.
'Hamburg are going great in the Bundesliga at the moment - they have gone top - and you know Ajax will possess quality players.
'We will have to do a touch more homework on the other two but the pedigree throughout is pretty strong.
'Overall, I think it's worked out pretty well. We could have been in some really difficult groups but I suppose, by the same token, we could have been in easier ones too.'
O'Neill is very excited about the Ajax tie at Villa Park, and he believes the match will be a pivotal moment in our UEFA dream.
'That first game against Ajax is just fantastic and it might be pivotal to the whole group.
'We want to get off to a good start. There are two home games and two away matches and the games on the road are always tricky in European football.'
European nights again, God how we've missed them.