Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday October 10 2008
And so says Zat Knight. Hard to disagree with him really, I'd put money on it now if I had any.
Speaking to the Mail Zat has made it quite clear that he believes Villa can go all the way and win the UEFA Cup this season, and that we shouldn't fear any of the teams in the competition.
He admits the players did wonder if we would be draw in the same group as AC Milan, but given our Group opponents we could still face off against them in latter stages or even the final - and what a final that would make.
"We are a big Premier League side, we finished sixth in the league last season and we are going to be a big threat to any team.
"Everyone is on an even keel. I think everyone is as good as each other in our group so it just depends on how much we want it.
"I think it is one of the stronger groups. Every team in it is doing well in their league. Every game is going to be like you are playing Manchester United or Chelsea so we can pysche ourselves up for the likes of these teams and do well.
"In Europe the biggest thing is your home form and we are delighted to have Ajax first at Villa Park.
"If we can get something at home them the other three teams are going to be thinking they better pull their socks up for us a lot of people might be thinking Ajax are favourites to win the group anyway."
The key will definitely be a good showing against Ajax, I would think they are considered favourites so if we can get a good win under our belts against them, it would be a vicious statement about our aims in this competition.
For most of the teams given our European exile we are unknown quantities. We overperformed in the league last season, yet we have continued the same kind of form this season.
If anything we are the underdogs in all the group games, outside of maybe Zilina, so those in other groups who expect to progress will certainly be keeping an eye on us.
"This is what the fans wanted. We are in Europe and everyone is going to be excited. Hopefully we can get the fans out in their droves and we can pack the stadium so everyone gets behind the boys.
"A lot of the boys have been talking about it.
'We were all wondering if we`d get AC Milan and be off to the San Siro.
"That would have been nice in hindsight as it would have been a good experience but on the other hand you want to go there in the later stages or in the final where it would be a bit more memorable.
"We are just excited about what it is. We have a good group but we haven`t got an easy team in there where you can just turn up and the game is won."
Yeah we've made that mistake before in the league haven't we.
Date:Friday October 10 2008
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|1.||Pride of Lions||164|
|Crystal Palace||2||-||1||Aston Villa|
|Aston Villa||0||-||1||Man Utd|
|AFC Bournemouth||0||-||1||Aston Villa|
|11. AFC Bournemouth||4||1||1||2||-1||4|
|12. Aston Villa||4||1||1||2||-1||4|
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