Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

O’Neill hits out at fans as Villa crash

Martin O'Neill slammed the Aston Villa fans for their reaction towards striker Gabriel Agbonlahor when he was substituted during the shock home defeat by Tottenham yesterday.

Agbonlahor has netted 11 goals this season but only two since mid-December, and he was booed by supporters when replaced by Nathan Delfouneso in the latter stages.

O'Neill had appealed before the game for the fans to get behind the team in the final quarter of the season and he was clearly upset by their reaction.

He said: "Gabby has been fantastic for this football club and I am very disappointed with what happened when he was substituted. Ever since I have known him, two and a half years ago, he has been brilliant.

"He is going through a period where his confidence is low but I have got to tell you that is no way to treat him after what he has done here.

"I can put up with many other things but that was uncalled for and people have short memories.

"I've always said if you pay your money you can do what you want but that sort of thing doesn't help anybody."

Villa have now gone seven games without a win in all competitions and have surrendered a top-four place in the Barclay's Premier League for the first time since early December.

Jermaine Jenas gave Spurs an early lead with a diving header after Brad Friedel parried Aaron Lennon's cross but Villa went on to dominate the first half.

However, Darren Bent made sure Robbie Keane's goalbound shot crossed the line after the restart, again set up by Lennon.

Substitute John Carew's late header from a James Milner cross gave Villa hope but Spurs held on for victory.

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