Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday March 20 2009
As we move ever close to the crunch clash against Liverpool, Martin O'Neill has again been singing the squad's praises and is sure we can come away with a result.
Speaking on the official site today, O'Neill said about previous tough encounters that we've performed well in:
'We've had to play strongly in those games. We've had to withstand plenty of moments in matches where it could have turned the other way but we've been resilient and strong and we want to try and get back to that.
'I still believe we've got the capabilities of upsetting the apple cart.'
O'Neill is also sure that Villa will be in Europe next season despite our recent 'blip':
'It looks at the moment as if with nine games left we'll probably be playing European football next season.
'I think sometimes in the supposed devastation in recent weeks that point shouldn't be overlooked.
'I claim to be my own harshest critic but I have to say we are qualifying for European football and I think with the destruction that we have heaped upon ourselves, maybe it should be put into a bit of perspective.'
The last sentence there is quite interesting, the 'destruction heaped on ourselves,' the only destruction I see is to our defence which has been covered at length previously. Is that a tiny admission, because surely with perspective comes an understanding of the whole picture.
That's all the fans have been pointing out afterall.
Speaking of the fans, there's also an interesting snippet covered by the Evening Mail:
"The new-found Villa fan that we have, who obviously wasn`t supporting the side a couple of years ago, has turned up now and has decided that winning supposedly mediocre games in the Premiership is a fait accompli.
"I am sorry. It was not like that a few years ago and it is never going to be like that.'
No it was never like that a few years ago, and it isn't today, even if we didn't screw around with the formation. But has our attentance rocketed by that much that fair weather fans out number those of us who were around 'a couple of years ago,' because I'm not sure.
Yeah there will be a number now that attend on the back of our 'recent successes' but it won't be that many. A few thousand tops to be honest, so how big an impact will they be having?
Not a lot when it comes to overall expectations, certainly less of an effect on our expectations than the official club line has had over the season. Player saying Champs League is our aim, players saying we will get into the Champs League, O'Neill admitting the Champs League is the Holy Grail and the thing of importance thesedays.
If expectations are abnormally high, I don't think you can blame it on those new fans, when half of the reason they are now attending fans is because of the hype of the club itself.
Date:Friday March 20 2009
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