Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday May 2 2008
Aston Villa boss Martin O`Neill paid Wigan Athletic a compliment when he said that he had warned his players that they face a stern test against the Latics on Saturday
O`Neill said that he always found the Latics a hard team to play against and that he also thought Steve Bruce had done an excellent job in turning around the clubs fortunes this season.
With the Latics going into the game on the back of three draws and a point needed to be safe O`Neill could well be forgiven for assuming that we will be defensive tomorrow, heres what he had to say:
'I think they are really strong. I think they are very resilient.
'I have always found the games really tough against them in the three matches we have played in my time here.
'Steve Bruce has done remarkably well, getting the situation turned around.
'I know how difficult it is going into a club, but he went in there halfway through a season and not really knowing the players and needing to get things up and running.
'And he has done super.
'Their players will be fired-up for it. They are not yet completely out of the woods, although they are in a pretty decent position and a lot of things would have to go against them for it to happen.
'They have done pretty excellent all round.'
A good game could be in the offing and with Villa needing a win to keep alive their European ambitions they could go all out attack, but when I have seen Villa play this season they are much better as a counter attacking side and this could play into Latics hands.
The longer we hold out the more frustrated Villa will become and we may be able to hit them on the counter with Heskeys pace and power always a threat we just might cause a surprise
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Date:Friday May 2 2008
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