Date: 13th March 2008 at 10:58am
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Martin O’Neill was honest enough after the 1-1 draw v Middlesbrough to say: ‘We didn’t deserve any more than a point from the game.’

I think he could have been more honest and admitted we deserved nothing though!

He told the official site: ‘It was a hugely frustrating night and we just couldn’t get going. We didn’t play well and did not deserve any more than the point. It was a particularly poor first-half and it took us far, far too long to get going. Middlesbrough came on the back of what they would consider a poor performance in the FA Cup and they’ve done well. They hit us on the break a few times early on and they deserved to go in front. ‘

He also said that although Boro played well it was Villa’s performance that concerned him, adding ‘We just didn’t play well enough. We didn’t create enough in the game and that was particularly disappointing.’

Meanwhile Gareth Southgate felt aggrieved at coming away with the spoils shared.

‘We are maintaining our policy about not complaining about referees but I do question whether it is helping us. I have seen the incident again and our lad (Luke Young) has got his back to the play. The shot is hit from only a couple of yards away and I don’t see the handball is anything but involuntary. I’m bitterly disappointed for my players because we’ve done so well tonight. Yes, we should have wrapped the game up with a couple of chances we had but we are fighting for our lives and the penalty was a very difficult decision to take.’

Adding, following their FA Cup exit ‘We have gone a tiny step to regaining some of the respect we lost from our fans the other day. We have still got a long way to go but it was an important point. With the way we played, I felt we deserved more because even though we tired a bit in the second half, Villa didn’t create many chances. We had the better opportunities and defended very well as a team.’


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