Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday October 29 2008
Martin O'Neill has called this the best win of the season? I don't have favourites, I love them all.
Not for the first time since O'Neill arrived we have battled back from being behind, and more importantly it seems a shallow first 45 or the loss of a goal actually helps us focus and perform.
Speaking on the official site, before he heads off for a night out after John Carew's advice......joke......he said:
'I told the players after the game that I thought it was the best win of the season so far.
'We were substandard for most of the game. We just didn't have the energy. It seemed that the third game in less than a week caught up with us.
'But we picked up three points and I couldn't be more pleased. It was a fantastic win considering we have played much, much better. Our stickability was brilliant tonight.
'In terms of effort, you can never fault the side. Our passing was poor but we stuck at it and won.
'They say that the mark of a successful side is grinding out a win when you're not playing well and that's exactly what we did. But I wouldn't want to play as poorly again.
'Regardless of how we played overall, I always thought we were a threat.
'When Blackburn pushed forward for an equaliser when it was 2-1 I thought we might pull something out of the hat and that's what we did with Gabby's great goal.
'Simply put, we won a game when we were far from our best.'
MON never fails to be truthful when it's obvious to everyone, yes the tiredness is probably slowly getting the players. I don't believe for a second that is physical tiredness though, mental maybe.
A good side copes with that and bounces back and I never thought I'd see the wee man say 'stickability'. Next you know he'll be quoted as saying 'bouncebackability' and that 'we posted the envelope' or something else equally as buzzwordy and stupid but sometimes they justify themselves.
Stickability tonight is probably right. We weren't great, our players will struggle with our schedule, they are FIT, but they ain't use to this.
For too long Villa players have been happy to pick up their 20 grand a week or whatever, turn up for 4 hours of training a day and play one match a week. Those days are over.
And it will take time for them to adjust to the fitness we now need. The mental fitness, the fitness that comes with earning your money by playing more than once a week and having the commitment to not be a jack the lad, or go on the piss to relax.....the commitment that comes from NOT going on the piss to relax.
This is new to most of our team and they should be allowed cockups because of that. Tonight we cocked up, but yet again, we battled to a win.
What more could you want? We will never be beautiful all of the time. Years ago we weren't and we lost points.
How nice is it to be ugly and crap but get points.
I'd take that everynow and then, would you?
Date:Wednesday October 29 2008
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|4.||Pride of Lions||590|
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|15. Aston Villa||22||5||7||10||-14||22|
|18. Hull City||22||4||7||11||-10||19|
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