Date: 2nd September 2008 at 3:26pm
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Nigel Reo-Coker has thanked the Claret and Blue faithful for being more than a 12th man during our recent match against Liverpool.

Aswell as thanking the fans for a blistering atmosphere and permanently being being the team as they tried to wear down a Liverpool who had come for a point long before the Torres injury, he also says the performance by the squad – I would say most, but not all – is exactly the level of commitment that as fans we should expect from the team, because it’s what they are aiming for.

Speaking on the official site, Hokey-Cokey said:

‘We can build on that performance. It’s the level we are trying to get to. There wasn’t much in it. I think we had the better chances and on another day we could have taken three points.

‘It’s a top four team and we want to be showing what we’ve got against these sides.

‘We are trying to break into that bracket. They are important games to show how far we have come. I think we did that against Liverpool.

And of course he’s right, we need to be setting our stall out against the so called Big 4 and yes we were unlucky, on another day we could’ve gleaned all 3 points.

We were certainly not really at the races in attack but that’ll be going over old ground at this point.

Lets lighten the mood, speaking on the fans he added:

‘The Villa Park atmosphere was tremendous. All credit to the fans. The energy they gave us from their passion and commitment was fantastic.

‘It was an electric atmosphere and we knew we couldn’t let the supporters or ourselves down. We wanted to prove ourselves against top, world-class players and I thought we more than held our own.

‘We have started well and set our standards. It is for us to maintain those now. It’s imperative to start the season well and we’ve done that.

‘We’ve got some big and important games now and we’re looking forward to it.’

So are the fans Hokey, whilst others fall away and Man City won’t really be challenging I suspect until January, maybe next summer, this is the perfect opportunity for us to make a real run and make strides of improvement.

If Gabby plays more Man City than Stoke and Liverpool and our defence continues with the form of Liverpool and not Stoke then Top 4 could be snuck. Top 5 is very attainable.

We want it, O’Neill does and Randy most certainly does. How much do the players want it – it’s in their hands.