O'Neill praises battling side
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill thought his side 'fought back magnificently' and showed great character.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 27/09/08 10:04pm
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill thought his side 'fought back magnificently' and showed great character to win against Sunderland 2-1.
In the last 12 days, Villa have had five games to face, including a shock Carling Cup exit midweek to QPR, and O'Neill admits that such an intense amount of football has probably taken its toll on his players.
Throughout the game Sunderland matched Villa physically but the home side went behind on 10 minutes when Djibril Cisse latched onto a Steed Malbranque pass.
"Wednesday night, we got beaten in the Carling Cup, and whether it was a hangover from that, I'm not sure," the Irishman said.
"Sunderland got themselves in front and that was going to prove difficult but we fought back magnificently to win the game."
Ashley Young's free-kick and John Carew's cheeky back heel cancelled out the Frenchman's opener and O'Neill feels his side showed excellent character to come back and snatch the three points in the first-half goal fest.
"Today it was about winning in the Premiership itself, we've been going really well and we want to try and keep that going.
"The players have had a tough last couple of weeks, it sounds crazy to be talking about the number of games you've played and whether there's any tiredness but we have.
"We've had a very tough schedule, five games in 12 days, there were signs of wear and tear but we dug it out and we came out victors in the end."