Football: Villa in deep trouble

Wimbledon 2 Aston Villa 1
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The Independent Online
By Phil Casey

Wimbledon 2 Aston Villa 1

JASON EUELL plunged Aston Villa deeper into the relegation dogfight with his seventh goal of the season and warned: "They don't know how much trouble they're in."

It meant that Wimbledon leapfrogged their opponents in the table and left Villa floundering in 15th place, just six points above the bottom three.

Brian Little's men have now taken just five points from their last seven games and on Saturday appeared bereft of attacking ideas or even any sense of urgency.

Euell believes if the Uefa Cup quarter-finalists don't get their act together soon it could be too late to prevent the unthinkable - relegation to the First Division.

"They haven't got that killer instinct," said the 21-year-old Londoner. "Everything they do works very well outside the box but they haven't got someone with that instinct inside and I think they're probably going to struggle.

"I don't think Neil Sullivan had to make a save and it took a deflection for them to score. They're probably just thinking about Europe but it's your Premiership place that matters."

Wimbledon themselves are not yet out of the woods but with their track record they are much better equipped than Villa to survive a relegation battle.

Euell is one of eight players that have come through Wimbledon's youth system. The octet of Euell, Sullivan, Blackwell, Perry, Fear, Ardley, Castledine and Cort were proudly pictured in Saturday's programme and inside was a cheeky, if apt, comparison between some more costly buys.

Euell was compared to the pounds 7.5m Collymore and yet came out on top in a ratio of goals to shots. He broke his shoulder last year and was forced to have it pinned and missed almost a third of the season. Now he and his Carl Leaburn, who cost pounds 300,000 from Charlton, have netted six goals between them.

Goals: Euell (10) 1-0; Leaburn (39) 2-0; Milosevic (41) 2-1.

Wimbledon: Sullivan; Jones, Blackwell, Thatcher, Gayle (Cort, 74), Perry, Ardley, Jupp (Solbakken, 54), Euell, Fear, Leaburn. Substitutes not used: Reeves, Clarke, Heald (gk).

Aston Villa: Bosnich; Southgate, Ehiogu, Taylor, Milosevic (Hendrie, 56), Collymore, Joachim, Wright, Nelson (Byfield, 69), Grayson, Scimeca. Substitutes not used: Collins, Walker, Oakes (gk).

Referee: G R Ashby (Worcester).

Bookings: Wimbledon: Jupp, Solbakken. Villa: Ehiogu.

Man of the match: Euell.

Attendance: 13,131.

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