Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday February 22 2007
Gabby Agbonlahor is looking for an improvement in the points haul as Villa enter the final quarter of the season and says the aim is still to finish in the top half to the table.
The England Under-21 international said:
'Our main aim is to improve on last season because we finished poorly and if we can improve on that, then that's a plus. This is a chance to get a rest, but also a chance to keep the fitness levels and have a bit of team-bonding as well.'
Adding 'It's a strange time to have a break and to have three weeks without a game is weird really. But it's an opportunity to do some hard training and come back fresh for the Fulham game. (March 3) Hopefully, Fulham will be more tired than us when we play them because they've had a few games lately. All through the season we don't really feel tired in games because we get the right amount of rest during the week, but we do the right amount of work too.'
Although he admits being an ever present up to the last game when he was subbed has taken a strain.
'Before the Reading match I was a bit tired and felt as if I needed a rest. During the game I felt jaded and tired and I had pains in my ankles and calves and I think that's why I came off. It was still a surprise though - I turned around and when I saw the number 15, it felt weird really. The gaffer hadn't warned me it was coming, but I was expecting it at some point, because no one's expected to play every single minute of every game for the whole season.'
'As a player, you want to play, especially if you're doing well, but a three-week break can work in our favour for tired players because it might enable them to return fresher. It's surprised me to be as involved as I have this season, but as a young kid, that's your aim. If you get a chance, it means you're doing well and if the gaffer picks you every week, you don't want to abuse your position. I've got to repay his faith in me and do well by him for all the times he's picked me.'
Date:Thursday February 22 2007
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