Martin O’Neill has called on the club’s supporters to help the team secure a Champions League place this season. Aston Villa currently sit three points ahead of fifth place Arsenal in the table and every game between now and the end of the season is vital.
Despite being in excellent form for the majority of the season though, Villa have suffered an indifferent spell of late and have only picked up one point from their last three games.
There was also some booing at the end of their last home game against Stoke City after a 2-0 lead was thrown away when the relegation candidates scored twice late on.
With this in mind, O’Neill has claimed that the relationship between the fans and players is of the ‘utmost importance’ between now and the end of the season.
The former Leicester manager admits that the crowd can get ‘agitated’ very quickly, but that the Villa fans should ‘stay with the team throughout everything’.
O’Neill emphasised this point even further by saying how it is ‘absolutely vital’ and ‘so important’ that the fans stay positive in the next few games. It could be the difference in the race for fourth place, after all.
The Irishman then went on to say that there is a ‘dual responsibility’ for everyone involved at the club. He believes that it is all about the ‘crowd and players teaming up together’.
Overall, it seems as though O’Neill is determined to get the message across about the role of the fans. He was probably fairly annoyed at the negative reaction at the end of the Stoke game and this is his way of dealing with it.
In all honesty though, he shouldn’t have too much to worry about. The Villa fans know that O’Neill has taken the club to new heights and that they are so close to achieving Champions League qualification. All it needs is one last push.
Next up for Villa is a home game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and it is vital that three points are picked up. Following this game, O’Neill’s men face trips to Liverpool and Manchester United in successive weekends.
The football odds won’t favour them winning either of these two, so the Tottenham game really is a must win. That’s why O’Neill has called on the fans to do everything they can to lift the team.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting for Betfair.