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Petrov impresses O'Neill
11 Sep 2006 - 08:32:01
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill hailed new signing Stilian Petrov as the former Celtic hero played a key role in Sunday's 1-1 draw at West Ham United.
Villa led from the fourth minute when Liam Ridgewell forced the ball home from close range but Alan Pardew's side rescued a point when Bobby Zamora continued his excellent form with his fifth goal of the season.
Juan Pablo Angel hit the crossbar twice as Villa dominated the match and O'Neill said of Bulgaria international Petrov: "I thought he was outstanding on his debut and the fans will have seen plenty to whet their appetites.
"I thought he might tire, but he didn't and he's going to be a terrific player for us.
"He came within what was probably millimetres of scoring on his debut and I was up in the air almost celebrating from my position on the touchline. But his overall contribution was terrific.
"There's disappointment in the dressing room that we didn't get all three points, but overall I've got to be pleased with the way things are going.
"We made a superb start and to be one up so early was a dream start. We then created plenty of chances and could easily have been two or three up as we played some good stuff.
"But at 1-0, there's always a chance that they're going to come back into it and that's what happened. Even then we had the chances to get back in front, but it wasn't to be.
"I continue to be delighted with the effort and commitment from my team. Effort-wise I can't ask for more and we've come to a tricky place and remain unbeaten."