Martin O’Neill has refused to get carried away when it comes to his side’s chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season. Aston Villa were in a similar position last year before a decline in the second-half of the campaign saw them finish sixth.
With his team sitting in fourth position now O’Neil has admitted that the ‘same thing might happen again’ because the Premier League is ‘very unforgiving’ at times, even when a team is on a fantastic run like Villa are right now.
They have won their last four league games without conceding a goal, and many people are already talking up Aston Villa’s Champions League football chances for next year.
Despite this, O’Neill is keen to point out how quickly things can go wrong. He looks back at how his team ‘lost to Chelsea, drew with Stoke and lost to Manchester City’ in quick succession last season, something which left them lacking in confidence for the remaining games.
The Villa fans will be worried about this happening again but, at the moment, they are flying and O’Neill hopes that a blip in form won’t result in them losing the faith.
O’Neill said that ‘you can win two consecutive games and you’re unbeatable, and you lose a couple of games and you’re useless’. Football can be a very fickle game.
He was quoting his fellow Premier League manager Harry Redknapp and some might argue that Villa and Spurs’ Premier League odds are very much intertwined. Surely only one of them can break the top four?
Overall, the Villa manager is just keen to stay in the hunt for a Champions League spot and takes things a game at a time. He knows that Villa won’t win every match between now and May, but he hopes that any blip isn’t as significant as the one they suffered after Christmas last season.