Dion Dublin tells Villa: Play like men, not boys and show Birmingham what you're really made of

15 January 2011 08:55

Dion Dublin has ordered Aston Villa players to stand up andbe counted at this weekend's derby against Birmingham.

In great form: Stiliyan Petrov is Villa's talisman insists Dion Dublin

Villa legend Dublin is shocked his old team have slippedinto the Premier League's bottom three and expects them to show what they aremade of at St Andrew's on Sunday.

The Blues drew 0-0 at Villa Park earlier this season and beat Villa in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

The sides are separated by just a point and Dublin said: 'Nowis the time you find out who are the men and who are the boys and Villa havegot to respond.

'Their fans have been fantastic and expect a lot more thanthey have been getting for too long. Villa need leaders on the pitch at this time more than any other because they are in a relegation battleand they need face that head on.

'They have the quality get out of this mess - that's a fact -but only at a time like this do you discover who really wants it and who wantsto coast.'

Dublin spent almost six years at Villa and netted 59 goalsin 190 games for the club before leaving in 2004.

And he added: 'Villa have won nothing for so long it's terrible.I'd be embarrassed if I was one of their current players and in the bottomthree and wouldn't want to go out.

'In all my time there we reached one final - the FA Cup in2000 - and we were awful. Forget winning the InterToto Cup in 2001 - that meantnothing.

Killer blow: Nikola Zigic scores the winning goal for Birmingham in the Carling Cup quarter-final against Villa

Fighting spirit: Dio Dublin (right) shows Liverpool's Sami Hyypia who is boss back in 2003

'And we let ourselves down again in the League Cup Finallast year as well when we had a chance to end that wait.

'I know Martin O'Neill brought stability to the club and wasa safe pair of hands but even he won nothing here. He was on the verge of somethingbut never delivered a trophy.

'I like Gerard Houllier as a person but don't know him as acoach. However, his players now have to give everything for Aston VillaFootball Club.

'They must all play to their full potential all the time.Big clubs with great players like Drogba can have off days and nick threepoints.

'Villa need to follow Stiliyan Petrov's lead and roll theirsleeves up. The fans will expect no less against Birmingham in a match vital toboth sides.

'Villa fans have been great over the years - they put theirhands in their pockets for no reward week in, week out and when they do getimpatient that's their prerogative.

'But they'll be happy this weekend. I always tip Villa towin and they'll beat Brum 3-2 and start climbing the table.'

Getting down with the kids: Aston Villa legend Dion Dublin at the Barclays Spaces for Sport day ahead of the derby with Birmingham

Dublin is an ambassador for Barclays Spaces for Sport,a scheme whereby 200 areas around the country are opened up just for youngstersto play the game of their choice.

The ex-England striker was helping coach on open groundopposite Villa Park and said: 'This is a brilliant scheme. Seeing so  many kids playing sport be it football,hockey or whatever, is just fantastic.

'Barclays deserve so much credit for what they are doing -it's not about sponsoring the Barclays Premier League for them.'

DionDublin was speaking ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash betweenBirmingham City and Aston Villa from the Aston Park Sports Pitchin Liverpool, one of 200 Barclays Spaces for Sports sites created acrossthe UK by Barclays and partners the Football Foundation. They have announcedplans to provide further support to the sites to ensure theirsustainability over the long term. To find out more visit www.barclays.com/community/spacesforsports

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 Explore more:People: Gerard Houllier, Stiliyan Petrov Places: Birmingham, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail