Date: 28th January 2009 at 11:15am
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Martin O’Neill waxed lyrical after the 1-0 win at Fratton Park about the team effort and the impact made by Emile Heskey.

He told Official Site that Emile put in a ‘super display’ and applauded the ‘great finish’.

Must admit I didn’t realise Heskey scored goals like that, not often we get goals from outside the box, maybe this will become a new trend…!?

The Villa boss also thought there was an ‘instant rapport’ between the big man and Gabby.

‘He was great, particularly when you consider he doesn’t know the team at all. I was delighted for him. When he came off, I just said: ‘Brilliant Emile!’ I haven’t got the word power of a Wordsworth, Milton or Chaucer, so I just told him he was brilliant.’

But he doesn’t stop at Emile, he also pointed out Carlos Cuellar and Zat Knight amongst other ‘brilliant performances’. ‘There were loads of brilliant performances – Carlos Cuellar and Zat Knight to start. Luke Young at left-back was terrific and the captain Gareth Barry was fantastic. His opening 20 minutes set the tone for the game. He was going in and winning challenges he had no right to win. Stiliyan Petrov was excellent and James Milner was fantastic – absolutely fantastic.’

Terrific then!