Date:Monday December 14 2009
1) You are having a great season so far and currently sit 3rd in the league, what has changed to make you a more promising team this season compared to others?
Strength in depth and a growing confidence. Hopefully lessons have been learnt from our capitulation from January onward last year. Milner in the centre is looking the real deal and Stewart Downing is a new player for us literally as he has only just recovered from his injury so that is a bit of added spice. Gabby is also improving greatly and even when we aren't playing well, we are hard to beat and picking up points.
Thing with Villa is we are slowly building, there has been high spending but not mad spending if that makes sense. Sometimes Martin O'Neill baffles even the staunchest of his fans BUT there is 'something' going on and an old sleeping giant appears to be waking up. At last, we might be genuine top four contenders... still, the doubts remain purely because we won it all back in the early 80's and since then, every time we've looked like we might be back, we've buggered it up. So I'm starting to try to be hopeful and believe, but I'm not setting myself up for more heartbreak... I'm just going to enjoy the ride! lol
2) How will you continue your push up the league, are you looking to strengthen in January?
Million dollar question. We beat Manchester United on Saturday, we now need to take that confidence into the next game and beat you guys, if not the hard work is slightly undone. We need consistency and to be fair, apart from a couple of blips (Wigan at home, Blackburn away) we are picking up at least draws and are very difficult to break down.
January? I'd break the bank for a top striker to go alongside Gabby but then that is very easy to type, not so easy to do and also, it isn't my bank! Who would be available in January that would be the quality to oust an England international (Emile Heskey) and a Norway international (John Carew)? If someone is out there, go get em MON!
3) Do you think Sunderland will do well this season or fall down the league for yet another relegation battle?
I don't think under Bruce you'll be in a relegation fight, you might even be in the mix for the top six positions come the end of the season. If Bent remains fit and on form, you could push, my guess would be 7-10th but obviously I don't watch you week in, week out, so don't know your frailties if you have any. Seems a settled club now with good owners/Chairman etc so that stability will surely help?
4) Do any Sunderland players impress you and would you like them in your team?
Darren Bent, was gunning for him all summer but MON decided we'd got enough in that department. Personally I think with him and Gabby up front, we'd not have lost at Blackburn away and would certainly have turned a few of our draws, especially against Everton and Wolves into wins. You do the math's, we'd be top or 2nd now!
5) Should Bent be picked for the World Cup as he notched his 10th goal of the season on Saturday?
He should. Simple as that really.
6) How well did you think Sunderland played in the Carling Cup defeat? Are you worried about their home form?
Yes, I always worry about teams like Sunderland, especially at home. Some fans think that coming to places like the Stadium of Lights is a walk in the park, it isn't and your team seems to have a good fight about them. I thought you played very well in the Carling Cup and had the chances to beat us, obviously if you don't take those chances you don't win though and so hopefully we'll win the competition with many thanks chaps!
7) Score predictions please
Split on this one, my heart says 1-0 the Villa, my head says a draw, 1-1.
For our interview on Vital Villa go to: www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article
Date:Monday December 14 2009
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