Date: 27th September 2008 at 10:25pm
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Martin O’Neill has praised the commitment and the determination of the squad to come from behind against Sunderland today.

After Wednesday’s cock up, today could’ve been the proverbial banana skin for our league campaign as Sunderland certainly aren’t pushovers, and they didn’t make it easy for us today.

But the squad were out to prove a point, and boy did we make one.

Speaking on the official site, Martin O’Neill said:

‘I am delighted with the third successive league win because Premier League points are hard to come by.

‘It was a great effort by the players. I thought we might tire as the game wore on, as was the case, but it was good to have something to hold on to. Sunderland pressed at the death but it was good to see it through.

‘Ashley scored an absolutely fantastic goal and John continued his good form with a great finish. I couldn’t be more pleased for the lads because they have showed an enormous amount of determination to fight back in the game.

‘We seem to be getting into the habit of winning close games, which is very encouraging.

‘The team have been playing so, so well but if I was to pick anyone out this afternoon, it would be Stiliyan. I thought he was absolutely outstanding.

‘I heard the announcement at the end of the game that he was man of the match. I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that.’

As many have commented, included myself, it was so nice to see a tactical sub used to wear down the clock, as well as our team purposefully holding the ball and playing it into the corners in the final minutes of the match.

This has been something that has been lacking for a while at Villa, clever, albeit boring play. We have a hectic schedule, sadly lightening by the exit from the Carling Cup, but players will tire.

The sensible clubs get the win, then play the clock. Today we did that, we kept it tight and we used our heads.

More of the same and we’ll all be celebrating come the end of the season.