Aston Villa have let fans down admits Stiliyan Petrov

Skipper Stiliyan Petrov admits Aston Villa's players have let the fans down this season and not lived up to expectations.

Villa have finished in the top six of the Barclays Premier League in the previous three seasons but have only just ensured safety from relegation.

Petrov is calling on to squad to ensure it is one-off campaign but is hoping new signings will be brought in during the summer.

The Bulgarian international said: "We need to make sure this season is only a one-off because, with the players and the quality we have got here, it has not lived up to expectations.

"We haven't performed this season and we know that it is down to us and nobody else.

"We have let the fans down, and we will not run away from that fact, and we have to make sure that we are right for next season.

"The last three seasons we have been sixth. This season we did not show what we are capable of and next season will be a big one for us.

"It has been a long and frustrating season."

When asked if Villa should bring in any new signings, Petrov said: "I think you need to ask the people who are going to be in charge that question.

"If I become a manager then I can tell you. But seriously it is always nice to see new faces because every single team will try and strengthen.

"Every team will bring in new faces to make the team better and hopefully we can do that as well."

Petrov is hoping manager Gerard Houllier will be fit to resume his duties after his heart problems but is aware his health has to be the number one priority.

Petrov said: "He is getting better and we hope it will not be long before we see him again but it is important that he puts his health first.

"It is nearly the end of the season and hopefully we will see it through and after that the people here will make a decision.

"I went to see him in hospital. We talked for a while but he is back home now and we will go and see him again and the most important thing for him is to have peace and relax.

"It is strange to see how much he loves football. We went to see him and all he talked about was football. He was frustrated he could not watch the Barcelona-Real Madrid game.

"That is typical of a man who loves football."

Petrov has returned to the side in recent weeks after Houllier preferred Jean Makoun and Nigel Reo-Coker for a spell but is philosophical about his time on the sidelines.

He said: "That is football. I am back in again but that is the way that football goes.

"I love football and at times you go through times like that and, as long as you keep working and stay competitive with your team-mates, that is the main thing.

"It is 20 players and a squad, not just 11 players."

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