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

Rest Was Crucial

Gabby Agbonlahor has said that O'Neill leaving out the majority of the first team for the CSKA match could prove to be crucial to our Champions League aspirations.

Speaking to Sky Sports the pacy striker said that the break and the additional recovery time will be vital to our hopes of securing a Top 4 position at the end of the season and catapulting ourselves into the Champions League.

Being given this break ahead of the Stoke match, and with obviously no more European date interruptions Gabby believes the squad will remain fresh enough to see us through until the end of the season.

'You need time to recover, the manager gives us that, and it will help us to see things through to the end.'

After todays matches we are four points behind Chelsea and Liverpool, and 5 points ahead of Arsenal. Gabby understands the position the club now find themselves in and he doesn't believe tirdness will be an issue when you compare that to what is at stake.

'I don't see tiredness being a problem and we are all aware what is at stake. Qualifying for the Champions League would be superb.

'The next few weeks are really big but there is a mood of optimism amongst the players. We are going into every game feeling confident and looking for a positive result.

'There is great strength and determination in this team. We have scored quite a few late goals. It shows the team will fight to the end.'

That strength and determination has been evident all season long with the matches you consider we've come from behind in, or gone on to win late. Let alone dragging out points from matches we didn't really deserve to get anything from.

The squad have been digging deep all along, and they only need to dig deep for a few more games and their summer holidays will be very well deserved this year.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 28 2009

Time: 5:27PM

Your Comments

But you get a squad big enough and rotate to stop tiredness don't you? Some have been bought and hardly ever played. I give up trying to figure all this out!!!
The Fear
Great chance for a 8 point gap, got to take advantage!
silkie villain
Good results this weekend =] Chelsea 2nd, good chance for us to push for 3rd, only 1point behind Liverpool after 2maz hopefully + i prefer Chelsea 2nd over Liverpool =]
Blitz
Stoke are a joke away from home so we gotta beat them
medzy
It might help Gabby if he was subbed now and then or swapped for the Fonz when he isn't scoring but no he plays 90min regardless of how he's doing. I reckon if MON did have a big squad he'd still use the same 13 players? He seems to like being the underdog backs to the wll fighter.
Villan57
What's done is done, and is now behind us. While I personally dont agree with what has gone on, we now have to focus on finishing top four, and by that I dont mean just fourth. Liverpool and Chelsea are hardly setting the world alight. Lets go for it.
glensider
so gabby had his rest. so tomorrow he should score afew goals then.l live in hope
one match ban
I agree with 57 and Glensider. Its about time Gabby started off on the bench and comes on as an impact player. Make him "chomp on the bit" for a while and come out fresh as the opposition defenders are tiring! Give Carew and Fonz more opportunity! Plus after the todays results, it can't be too outragious to go for 3rd place? Chelsea and Liverpool tied up in other cup competitions, and we can afford to take a break, and come back roaring until the end of the season, like last year! Come on the Villa, lets go for it! CL group stages here we come! (yes, Ive changed my tune a bit!)
villa_de
Hmm. So "Gabby needs to be rested". "Why does MON keep on playing him?" "He needs a kick up the backside". Maybe, but I seem to remember everyone clamouring for Stan to be dropped (or worse - many were calling for his removal from B6), and yet MON persisted - presumably because he knew what the guy was capable of and watched him every day in training. And so he stuck with him. And I for one am damn glad he did, and I am glad he has the strength to back his own judgement rather than ours. We need a leader, not somebody who gets blown off course by the press and the fans.
BobTheBuilder
Lets just hope that if we do finish 3rd or 4th we dont do a Rangers and lose the qualifying leg. Thats all you get if you lose it... 2 freeking matches.
col8
Sorry DE give Carew more opportunities? How many does he want to chase down lost balls and make something happen other than standing on the halfway line?
mike_field
Its Gabbys chance to score 2 or 3 tomaz, if is to be subbed, would prefer him bein subbed on then subbed of at half time.
Blitz
 

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