Date: 29th November 2007 at 9:53am
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Martin O’Neill spoke after the 4-0 whipping of Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park saying:

‘I thought we played very well and we had to play well because Blackburn are a very good side. I watched them against Fulham on Sunday and thought they were unlucky not to win. So we knew we had to be strong, but we also came here looking to be very adventurous. I’m just delighted that we’ve won, delighted in the manner that we’ve won. I couldn’t be more pleased.’

Adding on the official site, ‘John got an important goal for us with the first. He’s getting fitter and sharper and that’s good news for us. We scored some great goals tonight. Ashley Young’s goal was absolutely fantastic, so was Marlon’s and I’m just absolutely delighted.’

Marlon Harewood’s goal took him to his 100th career goal and brought him his first in the mighty claret and blue shirt.

O’Neill concluded: ‘Gareth’s penalty was a big goal and it was a big performance from him. Just like John’s it was a big goal at an important time. The fans were terrific once again for us. It was great to see so many of them coming up here for a midweek game. I speak for everyone in the dressing room when I say that we really appreciate that and we’re delighted to have given them another three points.’

Meanwhile Mark Hughes pointed the finger (not literally you understand) at the ref ‘Tonight was not one of the referee’s best performances and I think most people would acknowledge that.’

Adding, ‘Benni’s goal not being given was an even greater turning point than the penalty. If we had scored at that point when we had dominated the first 30 minutes it might have been a different game. He’s given the penalty for a shirt pull, which was probably the right decision, but I don’t think it was a sending-off because Chris Samba was there or thereabouts. They then got a couple of breakaway goals and I have my doubts about both of them. I thought they were both offside. It was just one of those nights and we will learn from it, but we know Aston Villa are not four goals better than us.’

Images of the game from the official site: www.avfc.co.uk