O'Neill praised for turnaround
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liam Ridgewell has heaped praise on Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill.
Aston Villa defender Liam Ridgewell has heaped praise on manager Martin O'Neill for his impact on the club's amazing turnaround.
Villa were on a downward slope before O'Neill's arrival in the summer but are now challenging towards the upper echelons of the Premiership table once again.
"He just got us back to basics and back winning games and I think that's what we've done," Ridgewell told Sky Sports News.
"Obviously we've drawn a few as well but as long as we keep picking up points. I think he's just pushing us in the right direction at the moment.
"I haven't had a great deal of experience of working with different managers but he's just instilled confidence into everyone and I think the players have reacted well to it."
Villa currently sit in ninth place, with a European spot well within their sights this season.
However, Ridgewell is not looking too far ahead yet but admits anything will be better than last season's disappointing 16th place finish.
"We're just taking it as it is at the moment, we're doing well at the moment and it's great for us and a great confidence and it's great to see the fans behind us and I think they feel the same," he said.
"We're looking to do better than we did last season, that was a disappointment for us, and once the end of the season comes around hopefully we'll be there or there abouts and we'll see where we are and push towards what we can get to."
Villa fell to defeat last time out against Bolton, but Ridgewell still believes there is plenty of confidence within the squad.
"I think we're playing with a lot of confidence, obviously the Bolton game, to lose that game we were disheartened with that but we played well and we've got to take a lot of confidence out of that and into the Manchester United game."
United are Villa's opponents on Saturday as they begin a busy period of games.
Ridgewell added: We don't mind it, there's a lot of games coming thick and fast and you can't complain you've just got to get on with it really."