Downing: Rollicking revved us up

22 February 2010 08:44
Villa looked out of sorts during the opening 45 minutes and needed a fortuitous goal from Ashley Young to cancel out Steven Fletcher's opener.[LNB]But O'Neill's "kick up the backside" worked wonders and Villa responded with four goals in 13 minutes from Downing (two), Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor in running out 5-2 winners.[LNB]It kept Villa on course for a Champions League spot via a top-four finish in the Premier League as they put their recent goalscoring problems - just three in the previous seven league games - behind them.[LNB]Downing said: "The manager wasn't very happy at half-time. It took a gee-up from him and a few other players to get us going because it wasn't acceptable really.[LNB]"It worked wonders because in the second half we looked a different team and played some great football.[LNB]"The manager is a great man motivator and half-time was the perfect example with a kick up the backside.[LNB]"He demanded more of us as players and there are some big characters in the dressing room and a few things were said and it worked.[LNB]"It was a slow game for a long time and once we got the second goal, it gave us a bit of confidence and we played some great stuff in a 15-minute spell and killed the game off."[LNB]Downing missed the first half of the season after his £12million move from Middlesbrough in the summer after breaking his foot in April, in a challenge with Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov.[LNB]But he has quickly made a big impression with O'Neill.[LNB]He said: "I think Stewart has done wonderfully well for us.[LNB]"He's had no pre-season, he came straight into the side from injury and has been excellent.[LNB]"He did some wonderful things in the game against Burnley. I think he is just getting really properly fit.[LNB]"Sometimes the crowd get a bit anxious when he goes 10 yards and then checks back.[LNB]"But the first goal he stuck in brilliantly and you can immediately see a lift of confidence - and his second goal came because the confidence was up."[LNB][LNB] Barclays Premier League. Click here to bet.  

Source: Team_Talk


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