'Goals will come' says Agbonlahor

Under-fire Villa forward is certain of rediscovering form to drive bid for top-four finish
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The Independent Online

Gabriel Agbonlahor has vowed to win over the Aston Villa fans by scoring the goals to rekindle hopes of securing a Champions League spot.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill launched a stinging attack on supporters who booed the England striker when he was substituted during the second half of the 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham on Sunday. O'Neill claimed fans had "short memories" and that such treatment "helped nobody" as Villa's winless run was extended to seven games in all competitions.

Agbonlahor has netted only twice since mid-December but he has 11 goals in total during the current campaign and is confident he will regain his scoring touch. He said: "If you look at last season, I went through a similar run and ended up in double figures. The goals will come.

"I am not worried at all. People forget how many goals I have got. It really doesn't bother me what people say, that I haven't scored for x-number of games. I know the goals will come and the good thing is that the service is good and chances are being created."

Villa have dropped out of the top four in the Premier League for the first time since early December with Arsenal now ahead of them on goal difference. O'Neill's side could slip further behind unless they achieve positive results from their next two games – away to Liverpool and Manchester United.

But Agbonlahor is adamant Villa will not throw away lightly the hard work they have put in this season to put themselves in striking distance of a Champions League place.

He said: "These are two massive away games. We are level on points with Arsenal and they have got tough games to come as well. We are being a bit unlucky at the moment. Maybe we had some luck in other games we won during our long unbeaten run.

"I think we can keep the challenge going to the end of the season. We are not going to throw away the hard work we have done. We know it is going to be tough but it will be tough for Arsenal as well."

Meanwhile, Spurs' Ledley King believes the addition of steel to his side's attacking qualities has been a key factor in their revival this season and their win on Sunday. He said: "I thought the whole team at Villa showed the battling qualities. They're a physical side and we had to match that as well as getting the ball down and playing."

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