Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday March 18 2007
Martin O'Neill isn't unduly worried at the challenge of attracting quality players to Villa Park despite the fact, unless we fluke entry via the fair play league, we won't be in Europe next season.
He said: 'I still think our chances of attracting quality players here next season are remarkably good, regardless of whether we're in Europe or not. If we can attract players of the calibre of John Carew , then I don't think it will be difficult. John saw our position in the table before he signed, but he still came here. He believes we are capable of playing European football, but he didn't necessarily think we would achieve it this season.'
'And if he came, I think others will follow him. I have no worries about being able to sign very good players. It's not a problem. That's what gives me a bit of confidence that, despite our results, the profile of the club will improve. If I wanted slow evolution I would work with this group of players for another season. Fine in theory, but it doesn't work in practice. I hope some of our younger players will improve next season and be complemented by a few others.'
Agreed, we don't want anymore wasted seasons, not O'Neill or the new boards fault, but patience is bound to wear thin with the Villa faithful, we've had years of nothing and now we have a sniff of what might be coming, we'd like it yesterday! This season has been disappointing, if we had similar next season it would be disastrous for ticket sales and morale. Some of our players, in my ever so humble opinion, try hard but are not the grade. Major changes not just 'a few others' is what is required!
Date:Sunday March 18 2007
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