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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Martin O'Neill On Poor Game

Martin O'Neill said after the 1-1 draw against Fulham that we 'shaded it' but just couldn't get a winner and conceded a draw was 'probably a fair reflection'.

He said: 'We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding so quickly. I thought overall we could have done better today, but a draw was probably a fair reflection. We did create a few chances towards the end and John Carew went closest. Had his late effort gone in, I would probably have said that we shaded it. But we couldn't get the winner.'

'We scored with a well worked and well taken goal. Gareth played the ball through to big John and I thought he put it away well. But we conceded almost immediately and that's a big, big disappointment. We couldn't get the ball off Fulham from the restart, they won the free-kick and we failed to defend it properly.'

Adding on the official site: 'The second-half was poor from both sides really and that's unlike us really. Even in defeat we've been playing better than that. But the point moves us on and we go into three big home games.'

Sounded an average game at best, never convinced that Villa should be playing 5 across midfield, but hey ho, I'm not the manager!






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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 3 2007

Time: 6:07PM

Your Comments

It was a dissapointing performance, especially after the 3 week break. I hope to see/need to see more drive against Arsenal and Liverpool...
Jonny_B
Very scrappy game. niemi's save was amazing...so close to winning it. The review on the BBC website says Fulham dominated, but that wasn't the case where I was sitting. Thought Petrov had a good game, got stuck in loads. When Tommy sliced that backpass I nearly had a heart attack! Pleased with point to be honest, especially when yhou consider how many games Fulham win at home. The referee had an absolute shocker though...awful decisions throughout.
olafthegreat
He's said what we saw, and at least he's identified the problems. Have to say i'm not surprised by the result, Fulham are a good side at home, and we have been abysmal away for a few years now (though there are signs that it's slowly being put right). All of these breaks are going to give us real inconsistency though, we've got another fortnight now in between games, and how are the players meant to retain match fitness and sharpness if they aren't playing games everyweek. Training sessions are all well and good, but they are no substitute for games. Encouraging to see Laursen back too, what do people think of Maloney from what they've seen so far?
Thegreatdando
still can not seem to defend set pieces which i thought MON would have got sorted from the DOL era, also giving possesion away far too often which is a major sin at this level. the plus points i suppose are another point on the board and the displays of petrov, carew and maloney in particular who was probably our most dangerous player on the pitch until he came off in the 2nd half.
deemz
Set piece defending kills us all the time, MON knows about it and they spent plenty of time on it too (from what i've read) it will get to a stage where O'Neill has enough and turfs out the defenders who won't do their jobs and get players in who can.
Thegreatdando
I predicted a point, and will happily take it in a match we could have lost in the end.
keithlees1978
Same old problem for Villa, Lack of someone putting the ball in the onion bag. We need to score much more our goals for column is a joke. If you are gonna concede which seems inevitable these days for us you need to outscore the opposition.
iomvilla
Onward and up ward, hust Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton to go in March.
col8
I have lost count of the games we should have won this season. We tend to have trouble extending our lead when we get one. Still,much better than last season. Hope we do enough towards the end of the season to build on.
morky13villa
Another piece of pathetic set-piece defending. All very similar to the one conceded against Reading: all defenders go with a runner and let somebody else wander in and put it int the net. Amazing when you think of the experience of our defenders on Saturday.
Beovilla
There's only so much one can say about cutting out silly mistakes and conceding sloppy goals - same old story. Regardless of whether it's set pieces or open play, our defending at times seems comical. It's not like we lack height at the back, players must know whom there marking or which zonal area they are responsible for. It's inevitable that we'll go into the summer transfer window looking for a more commanding presence at the back.... for now it's back to the training ground, and we must make ourselves the tight, well organised unit that we were at the start of the season - it may be an idea to go 3 at the back with Bouma and play Cahill (who's quiet a good ball player) in a sweeper role??
bazzah
And we waited patiently, three weeks in total, for that?
glensider
 

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