Date: 11th February 2008 at 3:44pm
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With Villa having a bit of time off, Martin O’Neill has teken them to Spain.

We have no game this weekend so the manager has thought it best to get the players away for some R+R in the hope of recharging batteries ahead of our final 12 game run in.

Speaking on the official site as they jetted off, O’Neill said:

‘We hope the week’s break can be as beneficial as it was last year. That’s in the lap of the gods but I think the players have earned the right to do it.

‘The same players have been going to the well every single time and this is a chance for us to recuperate.

‘There are other teams going out there who aren’t involved in the FA Cup. But it gives us time to work on a couple of things without interruption.

‘Players such as Wayne Routledge, Moustapha Salifou and Isaiah Osbourne – who is knocking on the door – want to become a part of proceedings and we want to do a bit of work with them.’

Fans may remember O’Neill did the same last year, and I believe they have returned to the same training camp this time round.

‘We went this time last year and we trained each morning and the sessions were pretty intense.

‘Because the weather was fine for us last year, it was pretty good. Getting a bit of sun was terrific – although we’re not guaranteed it – it might rain all the time.

‘But it gives us the chance to get away for a few days. I think they have deserved it. Had we lost on Saturday, it might have been a different issue. We’re taking all the squad apart from Patrik Berger, who’s not fit and needs to get some work in.’