Laursen lauds O'Neill effect

08 March 2009 08:26
Martin Laursen believes manager Martin O'Neill has overseen a transformation at Aston Villa. Former Celtic boss O'Neill took over at Villa Park in 2006 and has steadily impressed at the helm. This campaign Villa have really shone, with the club currently on course for a UEFA Champions League berth. Laursen, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since January, told the club's official website: "It has been difficult to sit out what is a very exciting and special time for the club. Remarkable "We are doing great - we have the chance of playing Champions League football next season - and that is a remarkable achievement in itself. "The manager can get the club into the Champions League - we are really focused on that. It is unbelievable how much the manager has transformed the club. Look at what he has done. "If you look at where we were when he took over and where we are now, it is incredible. We are fourth in the Premier League and in the hunt for a Champions League spot. Terrific "It is a great achievement so far. He dreams of that Champions League place and it would be terrific for him, the players and the whole club if we managed to get that fourth spot. "I never dreamt, when I joined, that we would have a chance of this. We were fighting relegation at one point and the Big Four were miles ahead of us. "Villa were a big club - a sleeping giant - but I never thought we would get here and certainly not this quick."

Source: SKY_Sports