Ian Taylor says Gabby Agbonlahor needs more goals for Aston Villa

Last Updated: 01/04/13 12:16pm

Taylor: still believes Villa can stay up

Ian Taylor says Gabriel Agbonlahor needs to score more goals if he is to help Aston Villa's survival cause this season.

Paul Lambert's side enjoyed a mini-revival in March with wins over QPR and Reading, but returned to the bottom three this weekend as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Liverpool.

The outcome might have been different if Agbonlahor, who has netted 71 times in eight seasons, had converted a Matt Lowton cross early in the game but his effort from inside the six-yard box was straight at Pepe Reina

And Villa legend Taylor, who played more than 200 times for the club, said the incident showed his lack of predatory ability.

"A natural finisher would have scored there," he told Soccer Extra. "Gabby's record in recent years is not prolific and he should have scored all day long. He got a good contact on it, but it was straight at the keeper.

"He doesn't score enough goals for me; he should score a lot more. He gets in great positions and has got great ability. His pace is obviously a great asset, but he should score more than he does.

"It was a great ball from Lowton, who gets balls in the box like that every week, but we have to finish them."

Struggled

Villa were ultimately undone by second-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard and head to Stoke next week knowing that they have not kept a clean sheet since the home fixture against Tony Pulis's side on December 8.

"Agbonlahor doesn't score enough goals for me; he should score a lot more. He gets in great positions and has got great ability."

Ian Taylor

They have now played 20 matches without a shutout and while Taylor believes the fans will continue to support the players, he says a lack of experience throughout the team has contributed to their vulnerability at the back.

He said: "They've been learning their trade in the Premier League and it's a harsh place to learn; they've found that this season.

"At times they've struggled defensively, but you can't just blame the back four at Aston Villa this season. You've got to track your runners and see things through. We've not been doing that all season.

"It was a great atmosphere though. The ground was full and people were coming back after two good wins against QPR and Reading. We were trying to keep that going,

"But Liverpool have got a lot of know-how in their team and even though they went in behind at half-time, they came back out and we conceded after two minutes. It was an uphill battle from there."