Date: 9th March 2008 at 10:47am
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Martin O’Neill is in confident mood according to an interview he has done in the Evening Mail and he adds that he believes the club are ‘getting there’ in their ambitions to restore us to competing at the top.

He told the paper ‘Aston Villa – the whole place needs re-igniting. That’s what we need to try to do. This club needs to be in the upper echelons of the Premier League, but it will take time. My own view is that we are getting there.’

And on Europe, again as the paper points out a competition we’ve not qualified for via the league since he who walks on water Brian Little was manager (we qualified via the Inter Toto under John Gregory) he says:

‘Villa have not played in Europe. We do not have many big games behind us. That is what we are hoping to change.’

The depressing thing is Spurs have taken one of the Uefa places by winning the Carling Cup, so we might do what we did a few years ago and finish sixth but still not grab a European place. All eyes on 4th and 5th then!?

Meanwhile academy director Bryan Jones has waxed lyrical about the Villa boss. On O’Neill coming home from the Spanish training camp last month to see the Youth take on Carlisle Jones told the official site: ‘I’m not sure how many managers would have done that – I think he’s unique. It’s an extreme example, but it proves what he thinks about Aston Villa. He wants to show he’s interested from top to bottom.’

Adding, ‘What Martin’s done is to get us in and around the top-six, so that bar is much higher and for a kid to break through now is even more difficult.’