Date: 22nd August 2008 at 4:05pm
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Brad Friedel has said that their are no easy games in the Premiership and Villa have to be mentally focused if we hope to put in a proper performance against newboys Stoke on Saturday.

Friedel is pleased with the start to his Villa career, but he knows Stoke will be up for the game and looking to prove their doubters wrong when they face the Villa.

Speaking on the official site, the American goalie said:

‘There’s not one easy game in the Premier League. There’s not one easy game in any cup competition nowadays.

‘If you’re mentally focussed there can be some easy games but that means you have to do things right at the beginning of the game to make the end of the game easy.

‘Tomorrow’s game could be one of the most difficult games of the season – you just don’t know. We’re going to have to be mentally switched on and if we’re not we could get turned over. You have to know that going into each and every game.’

One of our problems last season was in games like this. Teams who on paper we should beat with our eyes closed but for some reason, whether it was complacency or wild underestimation we walked away with fewer points than we should’ve done and it cost us 5th place at the end of the season.

What we are all hoping to see this season is an improvement on the ‘killer instinct’ from the team. Like we saw against Man City, when a team is on the backfoot, ramp up the goals so if any silly mistakes do occur / or dodgy refs giving pointless penalties, the game is still too far out of reach for the opposition.

Against Stoke this is exactly what we will have to do, because quite simply they are not going to roll over and die.

‘It’s been a great start to the season for us. The result in Iceland, because it’s never easy in the UEFA Cup, and then to start off like we did and the performance we put in against Man City was tremendous.

‘So we’re all really looking forward to these upcoming games. The Premier League is long and hard so we’re going to have to stay concentrated and focussed obviously. But I’m very happy with the way things have started.’