Football: Villa Taking the Positive View; INTERTOTO CUP

The Birmingham Post (England), July 19, 2008 | Go to article overview

Football: Villa Taking the Positive View; INTERTOTO CUP


Byline: By Lisa Smith

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has revealed that his side has been preparing for the Intertoto Cup encounter with Danish side Odense BK tonight by studying video nasties of their opponents.

Superliga side Odense BK are out for a spot of giant-killing against O'Neill's Premier League high-flyers but the Villa boss has reinforced to his players the importance of making sure last season's hard work in getting into the competition is not wasted.

And he insists Villa have done their homework on their oppponents who they face having entered the competition in the third round tonight. The match will be played over two legs, starting in Denmark before Villa bring their opponents back to Villa Park next Saturday evening.

Villa last won the Intertoto Cup back in 2001 beating Swiss side FC Basle 5-2 and fans will be demanding more of the same with more than 500 travelling supporters making the trip over to Denmark to cheer their side through to the Uefa Cup stages which follow.

O'Neill believes it will not be an easy game against the Danes but says his players - who flew out yesterday - are up for the challenge - having worked to get ahead of the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City last season to secure the Intertoto spot.

O'Neill said: "We felt from the outset it was probably the Danish side we would play. It will not be easy and we know they are ahead of us in terms of fitness but we know what we have to do.

"We had them watched in both games against TPS Turku in the previous round and so I have had reports back and we have also been watching them on DVD.

"They watched us in turn in our preseason friendly against Zurich in Switzerland last week and Martin Laursen spotted their assistant manager at the game. I hope they didn't learn too much from that particular match!"

The Villa boss continued: "They (Odense) are up for the game and we have to be ready for it. We worked so hard last year to get ourselvein this position and so there is no point in throwing it away at the first hurdle. …

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