O'Neill reveals Wenger confrontation

29 January 2010 02:55
O'Neill had described Wenger's comments as "an appalling insult" in his post-match press conference following Wednesday's goalless draw at Villa Park.

The former Celtic boss also made his feelings known to Wenger before the visitors left Villa Park.

The comments have incensed the Villa playing staff, with central defender James Collins describing them as "ridiculous" and "stupid".

O'Neill said: "Arsene is an excellent manager but, as I said the other evening, he has made a few ridiculous statements during his time.

"I also told Mr Wenger at the same time (after the press conference) and told him I felt the comments he had made were out of order.

"Wasn't it not long ago that he described Manchester United as anti-football?

"Like I said, he is a terrific manager but comments like that, although they do raise a laugh, also do become a little tiresome.

"I actually would say we are a fine footballing side with people like Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor, James Milner etc."

O'Neill is backing Villa to put their recent goal drought in the Premier League behind them as they look to put their top-four challenge back on track at Fulham on Saturday.

Villa have failed to score in their last four league matches and picked up only two points from draws with West Ham and Arsenal.

But between times they have found their touch in cup competitions, hitting six past Blackburn in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg and another three against Brighton in the FA Cup.

O'Neill said: "I pay less attention to it. That's not to say, of course, that you want to be scoring more goals. The more you score the better chance you have of winning football games.

"We haven't capitalised on the chances we have made. Just in the Premier League, we should have beaten Liverpool, should have beaten West Ham and on reflection a draw against Arsenal was probably a fair result.

"Those are our last three league games. I always say with 'ifs, buts and maybes' that it is best to keep them out of the equation.

"The team is playing very well at this moment and it is less of a concern than it would be normally.

"We had scored nine goals in the previous two games before Wednesday.

"But people will divide up your season into little segments and the segment they are concerned about at the moment is not scoring enough league goals."

O'Neill knows Villa will face a stiff test at Craven Cottage where Fulham have a formidable record.

He said: "Their home record is quite phenomenal. They will be disappointed with their away form, but at home they are a different team altogether playing with loads of confidence and it won't be easy for us."

O'Neill will again be without left-back Stephen Warnock and is awaiting the results of a visit to the specialist to determine how long he will be out of action.

It has led to O'Neill recalling Nicky Shorey from a loan spell at Nottingham Forest as cover.

The Villa boss said: "There is not anything definite I can tell you. He did see a specialist a couple of nights ago and we are waiting for some more results of other tests coming through.

"I would say it will be Monday or Tuesday before we know the extent of things."

Source: Team_Talk