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O'Neill sticking to his guns

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1 O'Neill sticking to his guns on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:48 am

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is refusing to change his stance and back the supporters' decision to boo Gabriel Agbonlahor off the field on Sunday.

Agbonlahor has 11 goals to his name this season for Villa, although the fleet-footed marksman has only scored twice since mid-December.

The 22-year-old was below par in Sunday's 2-1 defeat by Tottenham and came under heavy fire from fans before he was eventually replaced late on by manager O'Neill.

O'Neill was unhappy with Villa fans' reaction towards Agbonlahor and although 48 hours have elapsed since the result he stands by his initial reaction that the striker did not deserve the abuse.

Stands by his guns
"I said a couple of days ago, and I'll still say that I was disappointed to hear the reaction of Gabby being substituted because of what he has achieved at this football club and what he has achieved for this football club in the last couple of seasons," he said on Sky Sports News.

"It's only less than three years ago that he was loaned out to Watford and Sheffield Wednesday and none of the two teams wanted to take him back. That should tell you the progress that he has made.

"He's got great determination. He wants to succeed. He has now got himself in the thoughts of the England manager and I think all of those things are a great credit to him because he was worked.

"So yes it was disappointing, however, I think I speak for the players here (Heskey and Friedel) and for the rest of us that we have a big determination to pull it around. We're still there and we'll fight right until the very end."

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