Villa squad 'confident of winning every match'

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The Independent Online

Confidence in the Aston Villa camp is now so high that goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said the squad believe they can win every match.

Confidence in the Aston Villa camp is now so high that goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said the squad believe they can win every match.

Villa climbed into fifth spot in the Premiership after Monday night's 1-0 win over Tottenham took their points tally to 13 from five games and they have been beaten in only three of their last 23 league matches.

The fear of the Villa manager, David O'Leary, that his squad was too small to challenge for a European spot have so far proved unjustified with another youngster, midfielder Steven Davis, making the step up successfully against Martin Jol's side.

But Sorensen knows Villa will have to maintain their momentum as the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle, who are currently below them, will inevitably step up their challenge as the season progresses.

The Denmark international said: "Things feel great at present. In the last five games we've taken 13 points. Obviously that has taken us high up the league. There's a tough December/Christmas period ahead, but I can see us winning every game now and that's the sort of feeling we had at the end of last season as well. You look at Tottenham and they are down there, nothing is going for them and people's heads are down, whereas we just believe we can win.

"When you get on a high, that's the kind of feeling that you get. We will take it as far as we can and so far, so good, but there's still a long way to go. We came close to Europe last season and we said that we had to start this time around with those expectations, but there are a lot of teams around us who have got good players and are doing well.

"We've got teams like Newcastle and Manchester United behind us, but they will pick up form with the players they've got so we need to make sure we pick up points as well, otherwise we will struggle to stay where we are."

Sorensen believes that the team spirit fostered by O'Leary has been a crucial factor in the turnaround in Villa's fortunes in the past 18 months.

He explained: "There is a great team spirit and everyone enjoys coming into training. We're having a laugh off the field as well and I think that's important. People are not just going around minding their own business. We are in a team and maybe at the beginning of last season we stuck together and I think that's helped since then.

"We are strong. We know each other very well and we grind out results when they are needed. In any sport, the team ethic is 80 per cent of it. You can have 11 individuals and it's not always a guarantee of success, Whereas if you have a great team I am sure there will always be success at a club with a good team spirit and we've got that."

That same sort of optimism is being reflected by Jol, even though Spurs have been in free-fall towards the relegation zone after six successive defeats. He said: "I think we have a terrific spirit in the group, but it is a new team. We had six foreign players in the team.

"We've 12 new players and had injuries and it was a real problem to us because we've had to play the same players, but the injured ones are getting fit now. I think we will have a good spell in the future because we've just had some difficult games. We are still in the Carling Cup. We could do with some results because everyone in the bottom half has problems. Everyone can be worried about the situation because the Premiership is a hard league, but I think we have the spirit and mentality to get over these sort of problems.

"There are a couple of players we could do with bringing in and then you will see that we will improve our game by 10, 20 per cent."

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