Martin O’Neill talked to Setanta Sports after Aston Villa’s first defeat following three successive wins.
Martin O’Neill – team looked impressive – but only in first half
But O’Neill expects his side to be able to come back strongly from a disappointing loss last night.
Aston Villa could have moved into third place with 3 points at St James’ Park but, despite a good looking performance in the first half, two goals from Obafemi Martins saw them well beaten at the end, on Tyneside last night.
O’Neill told Setanta Sports after the game:
“We will fight back. That is what it is all about.”. “We have to.” “As you can see yourself, we are far from the finished article. We want to be battling and be up there and tonight was disappointing.”
“On the first half performance, we probably should have been out of sight.” “We had great chances to win the game and couldn’t get our noses in front. We had a number of chances and I thought we played exceptionally well first half.”
“Second half we were far from our very, very best. I thought we would conjure up the chances but it never really fell for us. But we shouldn’t have lost.”
“Gabby [Agbonlahor] has a great chance and he mishit it in front of goal and normally he would put it in the net. But we had a number of chances – Martin Laursen hit the post early on.”
Joey Barton was a post-match talking point as he dodged a yellow card for flicking Agbonlahor in the face before then receiving a booking for a later challenge, but O’Neill was unwilling to speculate on whether the controversial midfielder should have been dismissed.
“I haven’t seen the incident,” “Gabby said that something had happened at the time but that is for other people to make those decisions.”
We saw the incident, and Joey flicked Agbonlahor on the nose, but it was nothing more than petulance from Joey, and yes he needs to cut it out. But it seemed the referee was hardly on Barton’s side, as he seemed to call fouls on Barton – which were dubious at best.
But Joey played very very well, and dare we say it, is looking like an England player again, as he seems so inspired to pay the Newcastle club back for their support of him through his very troubled times.
This could be a water-shed victory for Newcastle, who played attractive passing football for much of the game, and the defense seemed to play a lot more solidly.