Date: 26th February 2008 at 3:19pm
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Martin O’Neill has again withdrawn Stiliyan Petrov from the firing line due to his woeful form.

Petrov managed to break back into the first team after his previous ‘rest’ and was given a good run again until O’Neill finally had enough and subbed him against Newcastle.

He then failed to make the bench for our Reading victory, and if you take O’Neill’s words on the surface, then it’s unlikely he will figure for the next few matches.

Speaking to the Evening Mail, O’Neill said:

‘I’ve decided to take Stiliyan out of the firing line to get his confidence back.

‘All too fleetingly he’s shown the really great form and, to be fair, we’ve played him out of position because he can go and play off the centre-forward.

‘At the moment, he’s not involved, but he’s got a great determination about him. I know him very well and he’s very strong mentally.

‘He knows himself he’s capable of so much more when his confidence is high.’

In numerous threads on the forum Petrov’s form has been discussed and the issue of ‘confidence’ on those ‘wages’ will always be a bug bear with fans.

But this is the second demotion of Petrov so you wonder how many chances he can have left to find the confidence and some proper form. At least O’Neill has shown those people who thought in his eyes Petrov could do no wrong, that he won’t allow the team to suffer for one player.

That bodes well for the future.