Reo-Coker - Criticism unfair
Nigel Reo-Coker has branded the criticism of Martin O'Neill and his Aston Villa team as 'ridiculous'.
Last Updated: 25/08/09 6:49pm
Nigel Reo-Coker has rubbished claims that his manager Martin O'Neill is feeling the pressure at Villa Park.
O'Neill's side began the season with a home loss against Wigan before being beaten in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier with Rapid Vienna.
But they turned their fortunes around on Monday night with a fantastic 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
Reo-Coker believes that the criticism Villa had to face after their sluggish start was shown to be completely unwarranted and is still positive about the team's prospects for the season.
"I am not going to stand here and lie, what is being said is ridiculous," he said.
"I have seen some of the comments and the quotes that have come out about us and the manager being under pressure. It was two games into the season. It is ridiculous to come out with such statements.
"Speaking from my experiences and what I have been through it really does not bother me. It is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
"We have got a long way to go and it is way too early to start panicking. People have to stay in touch with reality, it is as simple as that."
Villa came away from last season with a sixth-place finish in the Premier League despite suffering from a poor run of form towards the end of the campaign.
The pattern continued in the opening-day clash with Wigan, but Reo-Coker thinks the fans have been premature in writing off their side's chances.
"We have won at Anfield and the players were simply brilliant," the central midfielder added.
"We finished sixth (last season), and we qualified for Europe. Then we were booed off by our fans after the Wigan game. Okay, that's fine because we were beaten in the match.
"But we were also booed off at half-time, just 45 minutes since we finished sixth. Maybe people should look at that because I was disconcerted myself with it.
"I certainly didn't hear Liverpool being booed off by their own fans after their team lost.
"This is essentially a young side, and they will be criticised by me when it is deserved. But they will also take the praise when we do well, we have some outstanding players here."