Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday March 1 2007
Martin O'Neill is still considering the Inter Two Bob Cup but is tempted to say Villa won't enter the competition.
Obviously winning it can lead to Uefa Cup qualification as we saw in 2001 when we won the InterToto but O'Neill is far from convinced of the merits of trying this summer.
'Yes we have thought about it. There's two games in July-time and then if you get through those you go into a pre-qualifying game for the UEFA Cup. That all sounds good, but it depends then where you finish. Let's say you did finish in the top half, there could be two or three teams in front of you who would then have the choice.'
'The easiest thing is getting into Europe and not worrying about the InterToto Cup... that's always a thought. But I have thought about it. I am not sure yet, really, because I think that most sides would put the application in and maybe one or two sides might finish in front of you who will get that chance before you. It is not as if to say there is a definitive rule that if you finish in a certain position you get it. Then we could make, for instance, pre-season plans. '
Adding on the official site: 'I would be unsure this season - that's the point. And if it comes to making a decision, which we have to make very soon, I would probably be disinclined to run with it for some of the things that have been set in motion beforehand.'
He also says plans are being made which could include a trip to America for pre-season.
'We're in the throes of doing something. Nothing has been finalised, but we were thinking of going to America. We are making some sort of plans, and of course having to make a decision with the InterToto pretty quickly, that throws things right into the air at this minute. Had I been ensconced here, and had it been my second year, I think that we would have taken that opportunity of the InterToto. That is probably my thinking at this moment, so I may be disinclined to go with it at this time.'
'If only for the fact that you could get yourself worked up about it and everything's going fine, then somebody in front of you gets the opportunity to make that decision. If we finish ninth you don't definitely get an InterToto spot. It doesn't mean either that you get one if you finish seventh.'
Vital Villa asked not long back if we should enter, 83% said yes, 17% voted no.
Date:Thursday March 1 2007
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