Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday March 13 2007
Martin O'Neill says Villa are moving forward but warns there is a long way to go.
The Villa boss said ahead of tomorrows game v Arsenal:
'Obviously I feel I know the players better than before. Everyone was going in blindly to the opening game, because after only knowing me for a fortnight, they would not have known much about me. Now we're further down the line with that type of experience and knowledge. That first day (1-1 v Arsenal at the Emirates with Mellberg scoring the 1st goal at their new stadium) sometimes feels like a week or two ago, and other times it feels like a season or two ago.'
'We face a big test tomorrow. Despite being without Thierry Henry and a couple of others who are suspended, Arsenal have shown in their Carling Cup run that they have top quality young players around. At the beginning of the season from a distance, I felt they may not have had the strength in depth of the other big three. But they have completely changed my mind with their quality, because of the boys coming through, who I didn't know about.'
He added on the official site: 'Getting a Champions League spot is vitally important to them and their aim now is to finish as high as possible in the sense that they feel they are capable of catching Liverpool. Liverpool themselves may feel they are capable of catching Chelsea, who feel they are in the championship race. With only two teams definitely going through to the Champions' League - the other two have to qualify - they have plenty to play for.'
And admits 'We have our own thing to chase - to gather a few more points together to stay out of trouble.'
Villa (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Bardsley, Hughes, Mellberg, Cahill, Ridgewell, Bouma, Samuel, Agbonlahor, Petrov, McCann, Barry, Davis, Osbourne, Gardner, Maloney, Young, Carew, Angel, Moore.
Arsenal (from): Lehmann, Hoyte, Gilberto, Djourou, Gallas, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Denilson, Flamini, Baptista, Aliadiere, Almunia, Diaby, Senderos, Walcott, Traore, Connolly, Randall.
Mystic Mug is being a miserable git and says following a lack lustre performance v Fulham, that Villa will lose 2-1
What is your prediction?
Date:Tuesday March 13 2007
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