Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday March 30 2007
Martin O'Neill says Randy Lerner understands the task at hand and knows success won't just happen by magic.
The Villa boss said: 'Our job is to try to win games and entertain at the same time. That's something pretty important and I want to do that. It's going to take a bit of time, but I expect us to be much better next season. I've got to do enough to earn myself that time. The owner keeps saying to me 'this is a long haul job' and he's genuinely not expecting miracles overnight.'
Adding on the official site: 'It won't be the owner who's putting me under pressure - it will be results, crowd, exasperation, frustration and impatience. But you have to accept that.'
Not sure what this bit means actually, I don't think he is under any real pressure from the fans, a few obvious questions are being asked, but that is football isn't it? All about opinions! Anyway, he says: 'There will be a day when they wake up and they think: 'It's not happening' and that day follows very soon.'
'You can't say it's a two or three year process because it (criticism) is there and it surrounds you all the time. But that's the game. You live with it, you have to get on with it and you have to win.'
He is also already planning for next season and said:
'We've got eight very important games left and the season is finely balanced - it could go either way for us. Looking ahead to the summer, I would say there's much depending on the eight games. We've got a couple of young players in the side who I think will be better next season with the experience they've had this year. That's what you're always hoping for, but it doesn't always materialise.'
'But, without going into fantastic detail and having looked at our team here, we would need to strengthen a bit if we're going to try and compete. I would think that's pretty obvious to me, to the players and to the supporters. We need to strengthen if we can do. It should be a case now of knowing the players, knowing what's needed - which I think I do - and trying to do something about it, rather than coming in August time on a wing and a prayer.'
'I feel that whoever is good enough here at the football club will still be good enough next season and if we're going to add a bit more to the squad then there might be one or two casualties along the way.'
Will be a fascinating summer, I'd actually hope not that many of our squad leave until the summer after, we need to build and some of what we have are decent squad players, albeit not regular team starters if Europe is the aim - as illustrated perfectly in the last 2-3 seasons. I'm not sure we'd be gutted to see Jumper Jumper leave though would we and Hendrie is obviously off.
Date:Friday March 30 2007
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