O'Neill admits need to spread the load

The Aston Villa manager, Martin, O'Neill has admitted he needs to bring in further players after being "a wee bit surprised" at statistics relating to the workload of his squad last season. O'Neill recently attended a meeting of Premier League managers and discovered he used fewer players in the competition than any other club.

The reliance on the same players clearly took its toll in the final third of the season when Villa looked jaded and saw the chance of securing Champions League football disappear.

O'Neill, preparing for tomorrow's Europa League first-leg qualifier away to Rapid Vienna, is aware of the need to rectify the position before the transfer window closes in just under a fortnight's time, especially after last weekend's opening defeat by Wigan.

"It's going to be a long season ahead," he said yesterday. "At the end of last week, I went to a meeting for managers and they put up some interesting statistics. They showed 17 of our lads had played in the Premier League last season. Other teams had used 23, 27 and others over 30.

"I was a wee bit surprised. I knew how many we had used but I didn't realise it was less than anyone else. It is a team game. We are trying to get some extra players in if we can and, in our own way, we're hoping to look after the players. There's a long way to go. But, from the performance against Wigan, however, we've got a lot to do."

Villa were booed off the pitch after Saturday's 2-0 home defeat, but their captain, Stiliyan Petrov, wants them to put that dismal performance behind them tomorrow night.

"Everybody wants to be in Europe and we hope that after the next couple of games we will be in the group stages," he said. "I think after the weekend disappointment we want the next game with Rapid Vienna to come very quick so that we can show everybody it was a one-off. We hope we can put in a much better performance."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor