Petrov defends frontman Gabby

18 January 2010 03:28
Agbonlahor is Villa's leading scorer during the current campaign with nine goals but has managed only one in the last nine matches - the winner at Manchester United five weeks ago.[LNB]And the England player failed to convert a hat-trick of decent opportunities during Sunday's frustrating goalless draw with struggling West Ham at Villa Park.[LNB]But Petrov is adamant the Villa players have faith in Agbonlahor although he admits they have to concentrated more in front of goal.[LNB]The Bulgarian international said: "Is Agbonlahor suffering from a lack of confidence? No - and in fact, he is playing very well.[LNB]"Please also remember that in footballing terms, he is still a young boy. He is still learning.[LNB]"He has already got nine or 10 goals under his belt this season. He is doing really great and everyone has got faith in him.[LNB]"It is a fact that sometimes forwards miss chances but we have complete belief in him."[LNB]But Petrov also conceded after his side's third successive goal blank in the Premier League: "Probably we need to be more concentrated in front of goal and try to kill off these games.[LNB]"Even last season we had games like the one against West Ham when we were dominating the opposition, were on top of them but couldn't score.[LNB]"We know we have the boys in the team who can score goals.[LNB]"They like to score goals and they get really frustrated when they come off and haven't put the ball in the net."[LNB]Villa manager Martin O'Neill is playing down his side's recent league run - one point and no goals from their last three games - ahead of Wednesday's home Carling Cup semi-final, second leg clash with Blackburn.[LNB]He said: "I am delighted someone brought up we've gone three league games without a goal. They are a real bundle of joy. Can they narrow it down to the number of minutes we haven't scored?[LNB]"Unbelievably, I thought we scored on Thursday in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final. We've also taken one point from a possible nine which I'm sure I will be reminded of as well.[LNB]"But I think in the two league games we've had at home, against Liverpool and West Ham, we've got one point from those and, if we had four on the board, I don't think the opposition could have complained."[LNB]Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker looks set to miss the second leg with an ankle injury suffered in a training ground practice game ahead of the clash with the Hammers.[LNB]O'Neill said: "Nigel got injured on Saturday. His ankle has definitely swollen a bit. Wednesday might be too early for him but I am hoping he could be available for Saturday (against Brighton in the FA Cup)."[LNB]Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has faith in his players to climb clear of the relegation zone after holding Villa ahead of crunch clash with fellow strugglers Portsmouth.[LNB]He said: "Picking up a point at Villa is not an easy task. That will give the players a big, big boost of confidence and many, many positive things.[LNB]"Now we are going to play another tough match against Portsmouth and then we will have a run of good games at home and it is a big opportunity.[LNB]"The Villa game is going to prepare ourselves in the best way for the next run of games.[LNB]"Is it a chance to move clear of danger? I think so because we have important players coming back and the performance at Villa provided the perfect platform for us for the future.[LNB]"I am delighted and lucky to have a bunch of players who are fantastic with their commitment and passion and desire to please me and club and the fans.[LNB]"That is a very good thing, the best ingredient to have success, so I'm very confident.[LNB]"If we perform like that, and have everyone back, it depends on us but we are good enough to stay up and to be start climbing the league."[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk