Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday December 13 2008
Martin O'Neill praised the character of the Villa team today as they battled back from behind to take all 3 points off Bolton Wanderers.
Speaking on the official site, O'Neill was full of praise for the lads saying 'I am delighted. We had to work exceptionally hard for the win.'
Bolton never make it easy and as we've found to our cost there are no such teams that can be called easy wins anymore in the Premiership, but thankfully it seems our professionalism and desire to win matches is starting to shine through more often than not, and what could've easily been a slip up against them turned into a fantastic match for the fans.
'Eventually, it seemed reasonably comfortable although I never really thought that for one minute.
'It certainly didn't feel comfortable when we were a goal behind and they hit the bar with a header. At that stage, it might have been a long way back for us.
'But we have ability in the side and character as well. I know the word character is overused but I think we do possess that.
'The result was big for us because I knew, having seen Bolton last week, it was never going to be easy.
'But it was great to win. Gabby got us back into the game at 1-1 and Martin had a big impact on the own-goal to make it 2-1.
'Just before half-time, we should have been awarded a penalty. But it didn't hurt us because we went on to score two wonder goals in the second half. Overall, it was fantastic.'
A good win, a good performance and we are back in fourth place and even better it was a Saturday 3pm kick off.
When you listen to Gary Megson speak, you can be forgiven for thinking he was watching a different game.
Speaking to Bolton's official site, the fiery Ginger summed up his team's performance in one word 'poor' with a capital P.
'I thought we were poor. Collectively we didn't do what we have been doing of late and individually we had some poor performances.
'We got off to a good start in as much as we scored the first goal and had the opportunity to make it 2-0 after that, but you're not going to be able to pick up the points with a performance like that.
'We didn't have too many players who you can say played well today, and we didn't look like we normally look, which is everybody playing together. We looked a little bit disjointed, to be perfectly honest.
'It's more disappointing because of what we've been doing, what we set out to do today and the fact that we were 1-0 up.
'The first goal that we conceded, for a centre-forward to be able to head it up in the air on the 18-yard line and then finish it himself from 12-yards is obviously poor defending.
'We came here to let Villa have it at the back and to go and close down when they came into our half, and we didn't do that.
'You want to win every game and if you can't do that then you want to get something from it. If that doesn't happen in both instances then you want to go down fighting and I just felt that we were too easy to play against today.'
So what do you think, were Bolton poor or was it that we made them look poor?
Date:Saturday December 13 2008
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