Aston Villa players demand answers over manager position after Europa League exit

27 August 2010 09:49
The captain, his tongue loosened by the 3-2 defeat to Rapid Vienna at Villa Park which sent his club out of the Europa League before the group stages, said: 'We would like to know who is going to take charge, who is going to be involved. It would be great (to know).'

He shouldn't hold his breath. After last night it is looking increasingly unlikely that the club will have anyone in place by the time the window closes.

 Related ArticlesAston Villa v Everton: match previewAston Villa 2 Rapid Vienna 3; agg 3-4MacDonald to make Villa decision on MondayMacDonald still favourite for Villa jobNewcastle United v Aston Villa: as it happenedNewcastle United 6 Aston Villa 0Caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald's claim to the position fades with each day, his side having now conceded nine goals in two games. He agrees with Petrov that a decision needs to be made, only he is not happy to make it himself yet.

'The whole club needs to know. The supporters, players, everyone,' he said. 'I appreciate that, but you have to appreciate the position I was put in when Martin decided to leave. It is not an easy position, managing the team, picking the team.'

Under O'Neill, picking the team usually meant selecting the same 11 players week-in, week-out. MacDonald takes a different approach.

Backing James Milner for the first match against West Ham worked nicely, but his decision to rest key players like Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock last night (instead playing Habib Beye out of position - which led to Vienna's first goal) was bordering on reckless.

The question on everyone's lips was: why rest major players for a crucial European game when the season is only four games old, and when there is an international break next week which will offer the players plenty of time to rest anyway?

MacDonald won praise for his willingness to take a share of the blame after Villa's 6-0 hammering at Newcastle at the weekend (managers who own up to mistakes come around less often than Haley's comet, after all) but this time he chose to deflect the criticism onto the players who, despite all their combined experience, could not hang onto a lead.

He said: 'You would expect a team with so many top players to have kept the lead longer than they did. You can't legislate for individual mistakes from international players. It was disappointing. They score goals as a group and they accept responsibility for their mistakes as a group as well.'

As he was speaking, those same players were filtering out of the ground, eyes firmly averted from waiting inquisitors. Clearly the message about facing up had not filtered through. Only Petrov was willing to attempt to explain the result. To give him credit, he did not hold back.

'We couldn't defend,' he explained. 'We couldn't see the game through. We planned well, we created chances, but we need to look at our defensive game. In two games we have conceded nine goals, and it doesn't look right. It is up to the defence to get it right.

'It was unacceptable. We are really disappointed. We worked really hard last season to get to Europe, and we blew it. We said we needed to bounce back after the Newcastle game but we need to do the right things on the field, not just talking. It is up to us now. Everton is a must-win game for us.'

Source: Telegraph