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O'Neill devastated after draw
02 Mar 2009 - 08:01:56
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill thought Sunday's 2-2 draw with Stoke City felt like a defeat.
Villa looked set to move eight points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for a Champions League place when they led 2-0 with only four minutes left.
However, the Potters hit back with two late goals to grab a point, to leave O'Neill exasperated.
He said: "We were more than disappointed in the dressing room afterwards. In fact, everyone was devastated.
"With five minutes to go you should be able to see a game out. For the first time today I thought there was a degree of over-confidence about us.
"I just felt, having got the second goal, we should have been able to read the situation better and what might develop in the last couple of minutes.
"Once or twice we were still looking to play the sort of intricate football that got us 2-0 up instead of seeing the game out. It is a real disappointment.
"We were brilliant in the first half and some of our movement was excellent. We started the second half sloppily and didn't get into a rhythm for a while.
"But we got the second goal and were then in complete control. Stoke were left with nothing to lose and were always going to put the ball into our box and we should have been able to deal with it.
"At the moment it is hard to understand why (we only drew). They came here to sit back and I haven't got a problem with that. It's up to us to break them down and we did that.
"I think the normal top-four sides would have seen it through. Is that a lesson we will learn? I hope so.
"There are still plenty of games left and we've won games ourselves in the last minute but to drop two points today is galling because for the most part we were excellent."