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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 22:36 UK

O'Neill confident despite defeat

Martin O'Neill
O'Neill's Villa side face Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is confident his side can progress in the Europa League, despite a defeat in the first leg of their qualifier.

Villa lost 1-0 to Rapid Vienna, Nikica Jelavic scoring after 40 seconds.

Despite the result O'Neill was pleased with his side's performance and says they can overturn the deficit in the second leg at Villa Park next week.

"We knew this was going to be difficult - so will the return tie - but we are going to try to win," he said.

"We tried to create and in so doing, when you are getting players forward, obviously you are going to leave gaps, but overall I'm pleased.

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"They had a number of chances but we did too and could have capitalised on it.

"We are still well in the game and have a great match to look forward to next week.

"Of course we can overturn it. It was never going to be an easy match but this time next week we will be fitter again."

The defeat is the second in quick succession for Villa, who lost their opening Premier League match 2-0 at home to Wigan last Saturday.

Their form was also poor towards the end of last season as they faded badly having been in contention for a Champions League place at the turn of the year.

However, O'Neill refuses to press the panic button and instead is focusing on Monday's visit to Liverpool, before welcoming Vienna for the second leg three days later.

"The games are hard and approaching us pretty quickly but when we settle down this season we will be absolutely fine," O'Neill added.

"We need to improve and keep improving. As the whole squad gets wound up and fully fit then we will be OK."



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see also
Rapid Vienna 1-0 Aston Villa
20 Aug 09 |  Europe
Europa League as it happened
20 Aug 09 |  Europe


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