Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday March 17 2009
Ashley Young believes that O'Neill's man management skills are our secret weapon in the clamber for a Top 4 finish.
Speaking on the official site Young explained that that the Boss always knows exactly what to say to a player, regardless of whether things are going well or badly, and that it always has the effect of geeing them back up or making them refocus.
'My self-belief has improved so much under him. Since I have been at Villa I have won Player of the Month a few times and I have gained international recognition. I was in the team of the season too - that's all down to him.
'His man-management skills are spot on. All players are different and he realises that. He knows the best ways to get the best out of his players. He says the right things.'
Ashley knows how important O'Neill has been to him personally since joining the club, saying:
'He gives you the desire to go out there and try and do well and impress. As a winger, he gives you freedom to go and attack. That's fantastic.
'He does fill you with confidence by saying the right things but, if you're not doing well, he'll let you know that too. He knows what to say at the right times.'
After the last few games and given our performances of late O'Neill is going to have to use every trick in the book and just get us back to basics if we are to salvage this season.
Ash comments that if he'd been offered 5th place at the start of the season he'd have gladly snapped hands off for it - given it was an improvement on the previous season.
But with how pretty we were sitting in 4th place, with points to spare over Arsenal it's grating that we let that slip away, and whilst a 5th place finish is an improvement, it's continued growth and it's another great step in the right direction, given where we were it'd mean we had failed at the final stretch.
I'm reasonable sure the players know this, and I'm pretty sure they'd hate it if they allowed it to happen.
So it's time for the them to show the fans what the Top 4 means to them. Start talking on the pitch again as opposed to fluffy happy interviews stating how great we all are would be a good start.
Date:Tuesday March 17 2009
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