Brian McDermott full of praise for Aston Villa bossBy Jonny Fordham
March 04, 2010
Brian McDermott is relishing the opportunity of facing Martin O’Neill at Madejski Stadium when the pair go head-to-head on Sunday.
The Aston Villa manager and current Royals boss have faced each other before when at Wycombe Wanderers and Yeovil Town respectively.
That match ended in a draw, but this time there is a dream place in a FA Cup semi-final game at Wembley at stake when the two sides meet on Sunday (Live on ITV 1, 1.45pm kick-off).
Former chief scout McDermott said: “I remember quite a few years ago I was assistant manager at Yeovil and the manager was away so I took the game against Wycombe.
“We drew 2-2 and Martin was competitive and you can see he wants to win every game.
“He’s a great manager and has got good staff around him who are all football people. I like what he’s done over many years now.”
Aston Villa have lifted the famous cup an impressive seven times already, but their last clean-sweep in the competition was back in 1957.
Last Sunday they were beaten 2-1 in the League Cup final by Premier League champions Manchester United with McDermott watching in the stands.
“I went to the game on Sunday and it was a great atmosphere,” said the 48-year-old.
“Villa are a very good side and started off really well and got the early goal.
“I know Martin would have thought it unfortunate as well.
“They’ve got good players in wide areas and up the pitch, but we'll do what we do in every game.
“We look at our strengths and will play to them.”
McDermott’s men come into the game on the back of a 5-0 trouncing over Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday and are currently unbeaten at Madejski Stadium in 2010.
On-loan Blackburn Rovers centre-back Zurab Khizanishvili, who started in that game is cup-tied.
Jobi McAnuff will miss out as he serves the second game of a three game ban for his red card against West Bromwich Albion. And McDermott knows the importance of the whole squad at this stage of the season.
He added: “I don’t write people off because it’s nonsense, you need everybody to play their part.”