Aston Villa are one of a host of Premiership clubs vying for a lucrative UEFA Cup place and the Villains are up against relegation threatened Middlesbrough in the Premiership. Villa manager Martin O’Neill has already stressed his intention to play in Europe next season and reiterates that playing in the UEFA Cup next season would actually help them establish a reputation that will help the club in the long run.
Martin o’Neill says:
It’s our game in hand and we’ve not got to try and win it, we have got to win it.
Playing in Europe is a definite lift when you are bringing players in. The club is progressing along the right lines – but the possibility of European football is very enticing.
It’s all to play for now. Everton and Liverpool have opened up a considerable gap which means less room for error.
These boys enjoy playing week-in, week-out and I’m not fearful of losing them. But playing European football is a massive part of their development now.
Villa should win against a Boro side that is still struggling to claw itself out of the relegation mire and lost to minnows Cardiff in the FA Cup quarter-final last weekend. But even if Villa do not qualify for the UEFA Cup through their league position, they should still have the scope to enter Europe through the Intertoto backdoor.