Aston Villa boss O'Neill warns his stars: We must not slip up against Spurs

05 February 2010 04:56
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has warned his players that they cannot afford to slip up against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.[LNB]Defeat for Villa would leave them five points adrift of Tottenham in fourth and seriously hamper their push for a place in the Champions League next season.[LNB]Villa, boosted by the return of striker John Carew after a four-match absence with a knee injury, are hoping to pull off a second successive win in the capital following their impressive 2-0 victory at Fulham last week.[LNB] O'Neill: Knows the game at White Hart Lane is crucial[LNB]O'Neill said: 'The Tottenham game is a big, big game for us.[LNB]'Tottenham have been going great. They have some real quality players and have got strength in depth, which perhaps they may have lacked a couple of years ago.[LNB]'It augurs well for them as they played very well in the FA Cup replay up at Leeds and they will be ready for our match.  They are a very fine side as they proved here at Villa Park not so long ago.[LNB]'It is up to us but I think we are a fine side ourselves. The results we have had recently may not completely have reflected the manner in which we have played.[LNB]'I'm thinking in particular about the games we had against Liverpool and West Ham when we might easily have had four points and finished with one.[LNB] At the double: Gabriel Agbonlahor scored twice for Villa tat Fulham last weekend[LNB]'We were back on track again against Fulham. That was a difficult game for us to negotiate and it is up to us do the same on Saturday against Tottenham.'[LNB]Villa have not scored as many goals as O'Neill would have hoped at times thisseason and he added: 'Much was made of us not scoring of course and it is going to be highlighted. That is the nature of the business.[LNB]'The irony was that we were scoring goals galore in FA Cup matches and League Cup semi-finals.[LNB]'Purely from a league point of view it was great to win 2-0 at Craven Cottage with two great goals from Gabby Agbonlahor and he is now off and running again.[LNB]'We are now getting to a stage of the season when it is important to keep the scoreboard ticking along and whatever points we pick up will be vital.[LNB] Score draw: Michael Dawson celebrates his equaliser for Spurs at Villa Park in November[LNB]'Our next two games could not be more difficult, away to Tottenham and at home on Wednesday to Manchester United, sides who are going for everything themselves.[LNB]'I suppose we consider ourselves in that pack and that is, I think, is a great testament to the efforts of the team this season.'[LNB]O'Neill knows Villa will have to stop in-form striker Jermain Defoe and he said: 'Defoe is playing exceptionally well.[LNB]'He is a proper goalscorer but don't forget Peter Crouch, a player Aston Villa had in their ranks not so long ago, who is also is a top quality player.[LNB]'I think the combination of the two of them has always been difficult as they are  two very talented players.'[LNB] Aston Villa to hold talks with Milner over new contract for midfield starO'Neill admits he'd be devastated to be without Warnock for Carling Cup finalASTON VILLA FC

Source: Daily_Mail