Martin O'Neill Zilina Reaction
Sorry for the delay and the lack of input over the last few days, we had a server error so took the opporunity to upgrade our machines!
(So just for completeness + as a test that all is well now, this was done on Thursday for publication)
Martin O'Neill talked about the positives from the 2-1 defeat against MSK Zilina whereas over 25 000 Villa fans went home cold, wet and fed up having paid their hard earned money to see yet another unbalanced team get beaten.
The Villa boss said on the official site :
'We were beaten but we are through - and that's what we set out to do at the start of the European campaign. We are in the final 32 and quite frankly, who cares who we play in the knockout phase. I am just delighted we are through and I think overall we have deserved to get there.'
And on the match last night he admitted, 'We were disappointing tonight, no doubt about it. I thought we were disjointed early on and conceded two goals, which were sloppy from our point of view. The first one was very poor while the second one was well worked by them but we should have done better.'
He also says that he was happy with the effort put in adding that some of the players showed 'tremendous moral courage in trying to put their foot on the ball with the crowd baying for it to be put into the penalty box.'
EH? How dare the crowd want the ball in the box, how very dare they!
He also says that Moustapha Salifou played despite not feeling well, explaining 'he was heavily under the weather before the game. He wanted to play while other players wouldn't have bothered. He wanted to play and fair play to him.'
He might have wanted to play, but you have to question why the manager agreed to let him play when he was ill and we had more than enough players who could quite easily have stepped into the void?!
Ho hum, we are through and that is THE main thing although I disagree that where we finish doesn't matter that much, the 1st place teams play the 3rd place teams which is a bit of a break, the 2nd place teams play the teams falling out of the Champions League. Both 1st and 2nd places have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.