Petrov targets more goals
Villa midfielder hails McLeish impact
Last Updated: September 13, 2011 1:31pm
Stiliyan Petrov has been delighted with Aston Villa's start to the season under Alex McLeish and hopes to contribute further to their success by adding to his goal tally.
Petrov is known more for his defensive skills in midfield but he scored with a stunning strike from distance in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Everton.
Having netted a memorable goal from almost the halfway line against Derby in 2008, the Bulgarian admits it was great to find the target once again in such sublime fashion.
He has been given more freedom to get forward by McLeish and hopes to build on his latest goal by scoring far more regularly.
"It was a nice goal. People have criticised me for not shooting enough and not scoring goals but I have now been given a licence to go forward and I've been getting closer and closer," Petrov told the club's official website.
"It was great to get a goal and hopefully now I can get a few more.
"I don't do tap-ins - they're too easy! I only like the hard ones!
"Joking aside, a goal is a goal, it doesn't really matter what it looks like or how it goes in - it just matters that it finds the net.
"As I said, I'm looking to score more for Villa now in the coming weeks and months."
Coming from behind to salvage a draw against Everton extended Villa's unbeaten start to the season, and Petrov credits new manager McLeish for instilling a never-say-die attitude.
"He has been saying to us 'never give up' and told us to make sure the opposition know we will always come back fighting," explained Petrov.
"This is something the manager has really made a difference with.
"I think we showed that against Everton."
While he was thrilled to battle back for a point, Petrov has warned his team-mates they cannot afford to start games so poorly in future.
He said: "We never started the game. We were sloppy. We were slow. We didn't play our game. We let them play their game. They put us under pressure.
"We were much better in the second half. We changed it a bit, played two up front with Gabby and Darren, which created some problems for them.
"We got a grip of the game and a good, solid result in the end.
"But at the end of the day we can't afford to start that slowly and catch up because in some games it will be too late."