Date: 18th October 2005 at 11:05am
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Phillips says the next 4-5 games will shape our season and that we have to now build on the derby win.

Next up, Wigan at home, Man City away, Liverpool home, Sunderland away, Charlton home.

He told the official site: ‘The players spoke after the last international break about what we wanted to achieve and we fell short. We’re not daft, we’ve sat down and analysed every game and we should be giving every team in the league a tough game. This time we want to put a run together to get into the top half of the table. It’s definitely within our capabilities.’

Continuing, and most refreshingly saying there are no excuses.

‘I’ve heard people talking about how our bad run maybe down to the fact that so many new players have come to the club and it’s taken time to gel. I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy with that view. All the players have trained and played together regularly for a while now and there are no excuses. It’s time for all the new players and us as a squad to get it right and it’s a crucial time for us. We want to get points on the board now before the ‘business’ end of the season hits us at the halfway stage and we’ve got four or five games now to do that to set us up nicely for November and December.’

This guy is a winner, what a great influence to have around Villa Park.

Meanwhile, Mellberg has said Villa must start scoring more goals and believes Phillips is the man for the job:

‘We haven’t scored enough in the past couple of years and I think that was why he brought Kevin in because he’s regularly scored his share of goals every season. If he can do the same, he’ll be a massive player for us. At the moment we’re looking to climb into the top half of the table and then we’ll take it from there.’

Adding

‘It’s difficult to start talking about Europe when we’re that far away. It’s definitely not beyond us but we can’t run before we can walk.’