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O'Neill 'overwhelmed' by backing of Aston Villa fans


O'Neill hails fantastic Villa response

Martin O'Neill made a point of thanking the Aston Villa fans who sang his name during his side's 1-0 win at Bolton.

"I was overwhelmed by the support of the fans," he said, after a tough week for the 58-year-old Villa boss. "It was terrific and I am eternally grateful.

"I would like to continue in this job as manager because I enjoy it and think there are things to do for the club."

Due to make a decision about his future at the end of the season, O'Neill has said the fans will have a part to play.

"Aston Villa supporters will play a part, the chairman will play a big part because he is my employer," said O'Neill last week after his position as Villa boss came under scrutiny following the humiliating 7-1 defeat at Chelsea.

"And I will also play a part in proceedings because it's my future."


Saturday's win at Bolton, secured through Ashley Young's 11th-minute strike, revived Villa's hopes of a top-four finish and a Champions League slot, though they remain five points behind Manchester City with an inferior goal difference.

"This was an important day because we showed the people we have character and that you have to occasionally put things into perspective - maybe one wretched half-hour [at Chelsea] shouldn't take the gloss of a brilliant season," added O'Neill, whose side face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals next weekend.

Villa were also narrowly beaten by Manchester United in the Carling Cup final after it was generally agreed that defender Nemanja Vidic should have been sent off when he conceded a fifth-minute penalty.

Last week O'Neill scotched rumours that he was ready to quit Villa following claims he was unhappy with owner-chairman Randy Lerner's transfer policy.

And he told The Observer newspaper on Sunday that he would discuss his future with Lerner in the summer - but insisted it was not in his nature to "down tools" purely over the size of the club's transfer budget.

"If that situation did develop, that wouldn't necessarily mean I would go and down tools and say, 'Well, listen, we can't go any further.'

"What you would do is see if you can come up with some other ways, maybe through the scheme here with the younger players coming through, maybe with a bit of trading here and there, maybe taking a risk with a major player to be transferred (out) to sort things out.

"You wouldn't just down tools. It's not been in my nature to do that. I couldn't envisage that sort of scene - just throwing the toys out of the pram."

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see also
Saturday football as it happened
03 Apr 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
03 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Bolton 0-1 Aston Villa
03 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Vidic decision lucky - Ferguson
01 Mar 10 |  League Cup
FA reveals Cup semi-finals dates
24 Mar 10 |  FA Cup

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