Date: 11th December 2007 at 6:33pm
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Speaking to the local media, our Captain has said that the teams reliance on the counter attack is far more suited to playing away from home, considering most teams come to Villa Park and shut up shop.

As mentioned in the other article a second ago, we are one dimensional in many ways in how we play and it doesn’t seem to suit us at home. With teams sitting deep and especially against the better teams marking closely and doubling up where necessary, that spark of invention is lacking from the team.

With confidence and morale already hit from the losses, you have to wonder where that spark might come from in our next home match.

‘It is about character now. Maybe our game at the moment suits us to play away from home in that we are a good counter-attacking team.

‘Teams at Villa Park are making it hard for us to break down. So we will go up to Sunderland with good confidence because of the previous away victories.

‘It is important we show some character now and take that approach up to Sunderland, because that away form has been very good.

‘If you look at things that’s two defeats on the trot at home now, although our away form has been good, it is at home where you need to pick up points.

‘I’m sure the manager will be looking at things and I’m sure there will be a different approach to the next home game against City.

‘We knew last weekend was a massive game for both teams, but you have to give credit to Portsmouth.

‘They came with a great game-plan. They made it a battle and have a big, strong team.

‘Martin Laursen missed a couple of big headers and we had an earlier chance and it just shows how big the first goal is in this league.

‘They gained confidence from it and started having strikes from 25 yards which just shows the sort of confidence it brings to your team.’

There are no ways about it, although again I say nobody should be panicking given our progress this season, but Sunderland has almost become a must win game for us. If anything the team needs a lift, needs that boost of confidence to carry us into the next home match so when teams do shut up shop, our players are prepared to take the odd risk in the hope of providing that spark.