Date: 3rd November 2008 at 10:47am
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Brad Friedel – Aston Villa: PFA interview Stories of Brad and Ince not seeing eye-to-eye were ‘rubbish’

Brad Friedel came up against his former club Blackburn on Wednesday for the first time since his summer move to Aston Villa. He helped Martin O’Neill’s side to a 3-2 victory at Villa Park in a game that
arguably Blackburn did not deserve to lose and one that O’Neill described as the ‘best win of the season’. However, American goalkeeper Friedel still has strong ties with Ewood Park and rejects any suggestion that he left because of any unrest at Rovers when Paul Ince was appointed manager following Mark Hughes’ move to Manchester City in the close season. In fact, he regards Ince as one his best
friends from their time spent as playing colleagues at Liverpool almost a decade ago.

Givemefootball.com’s Ian Clarkson spoke to Friedel and found that while he is totally committed to the Villa cause now, he will always have the utmost respect for Rovers.



YOU MUST HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS AT BLACKBURN STILL?

Yes, among the players, staff and board members to be honest. I’ve kept in touch with quite a few of them, but I play for Villa now. I didn’t realise the size of Aston Villa before I got here. You play against a team many times but I didn’t realise the fan base Villa had.

WAS THERE ANY BAD FEELING WHEN YOU LEFT BLACKBURN IN THE SUMMER?

No animosity whatsoever. I hold the club in high regard it’s not easy maintaining the competitive levels Blackburn do over the years with the budget requirements that the club allows them to operate them. I
really take my hat off to them. It is not easy to continually pick good managers that continually buy good players when they’re a business that’s losing money year in and year out. Their assets are their coaching staff and the players. They’re not punching above their weight in terms of players and management but possibly in the size of the club. They always have had good players and still do.

THERE WERE A LOT OF RUMOURS ABOUT BLACKBURN STRUGGLING AND PAUL INCE FACING A PLAYER REVOLT – THAT HASN’T HAPPENED HAS IT?

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(used with permission from www.givemefootball.com)