Date: 20th August 2010 at 3:51pm
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Stephen Warnock has admitted that our youngsters needed no advice for the Vienna clash, as they simply got on with their jobs.

Speaking to the Official Site the morning after our 1-1 draw in Austria, Warnock was full of praise for the likes of Lichaj and Jonathan Hogg who made their competitive debuts in such an intimidating stadium.

‘I thought the young lads acquitted themselves very well, I was very impressed.’

Warnock said the experienced players were tasked with talking the youngsters through the game, but that really it wasn’t needed. They put in sterling performances on their own and showed their maturity from the off.

For the game itself, and admittedly many fans would disagree, Warnock believes we played very well indeed and succeeded in playing the comfortable flowing football we managed against Wet Spam.

‘We played great football and we were comfortable on the ball right from the off. That was as a consequence of the weekend result, it was something we talked about before the game and the lads took it on board.’

He now thinks the tie is set up perfectly for the return trip at Villa Park.

‘Hopefully we can get the job finished and enjoy a good competition. It’s far from over, we know that. The performance in the first leg will give us confidence that we can go back to our place, play football and hurt them.’

There’s no doubt about that. Rapid are a good side undoubtedly, but in my humble we weren’t a patch for the most part on the Wet Spam performance, and we were very scrappy at points – but that was to be expected given Big Mac kept to his problem of giving everybody a shot in the team.

Competitive debuts, some players out on the pitch who hardly played in pre season – or hardly in the previous 12 months to be honest – they’ll be some rust to run off and sharpness and confidence to return, so the reduced performance is understandable yet we still managed with such lads to get the away goal and a decent result against a team 8 games into their season I believe.

Another week of training, a Carew not a Heskey, Ashley Young back as an option, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t take the game to them on home turf and avenge last season.

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