Writer: Mike Field
Date:Sunday December 21 2008
Martin O'Neill heaped praise on goalkeeper Brad Friedel after yesterdays lucky win against Wet Spam whilst taling to the official site.
Friedel was in fine form and as many have suggested he alone can be congratulated for winning us two points yesterday and those two points may very well be important come the end of the season.
'It was a wonderful victory. We conjured a win when it looked improbable.
'The first half was very interesting. Brad Friedel made a wonderful save from Craig Bellamy. It was a fantastic stop. It kept us in the game.
'If they had scored that, it would have given them all the momentum. They did well against Chelsea and they have been playing well.
'What we didn't want was the crowd at Upton Park lifted and roaring them on. So Brad kept us in the game and we took the three points eventually. That was great.
'In that first half, we missed a couple of great chances ourselves to open the scoring.
'I was hoping at half-time that we could keep that momentum going after the break. As it turns out, West Ham put us under a lot of pressure and kept the ball nicely.
'We looked pretty jaded for a period. The great thing for me is that when we looked at our most jaded we conjured up the win.
'The lads should be absolutely delighted to have won that game. They will have a match in January, February, March - maybe all three of those months - where we will be by miles the better team and get beaten.
'That was really hard today but it's our sixth win away from home - that is amazing.'
Not the performance we wanted after Hamburg and definitely not the 'completely different Villa' we all assured ourselves we would see after the removal of the fringe players but 3 points from a game we should've lost is a knack that we've never quite mastered, hopefully this is the start of such a knack.
Date:Sunday December 21 2008
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