Date: 18th March 2008 at 2:46pm
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Martin O’Neill is convinced Villa will bounce back and will not waste our hard work so far this season.

Speaking to the Evening Mail O’Neill was confident the players would respond and not throw away our progress so far.

Sounds terrible doesn’t it – we’ve slipped to 7th in the league (I’d have took 7th at the start of the season!), and after our loss to Pompey we are now behind them, and they have also entered the InterTwoBob.

‘It would be pointless to come this far and now decide to down tools. It would be just too easy to give up, so we must press on. We must get back to it.

‘Saturday was doubly disappointing because we lost and our near neighbours, in terms of league position, Portsmouth have gone above us by a point.

‘We’ve got to catch up again and my own belief is we will because we have ability in the side and we’re capable of doing it.

‘We’ve got points to play for and, honestly, I’m telling you we’ll go for it.’

Unless my brain has gone, we have 8 games left and 24 points to play for. It’s definitely possible, if in the words of Mellberg ‘we go on a hell of a run’, for us to jummp back up the league and into the automatic places but being honest we need to not slip up at all, and then rely on others making mistakes.

Relying on others is never a good place to be.

However, O’Neill seems adamant that if we do miss out then he will be more disappointed than most fans – I for will be gutted if we miss out on Europe, but for me that doesn’t change the fact it’s been a cracking season and we have surpassed ourselves.

‘Will it still be a good season if we miss out? Absolutely not.

‘We’ve now got to show real resilience and I know this is an over-used word in the game, but we’ve got to show real character.

‘This is where we’ve really got to show it.’