Euro blow can help Villa ... get back in Europe, says Gab
By Villa reporter
Sunday 20 Sep 2009 20:43:00
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Gabby Agbonlahor believes Aston Villa’s early exit from the Europa League can help them finish in the top four.

The in-form striker said the win over Portsmouth – in which he scored the crucial second – was a classic example of a game which would have been a lot harder had Villa been in Thursday night action in Europe just before it.

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The weekend’s games have left Villa tucked handily into fifth place, one of four sides on 12 points. They are just below Man City – who lost a classic Manchester derby 4-3 at Old Trafford – but ahead of Spurs, who crashed 3-0 at Chelsea.

And Villa’s form has got Agbonlahor dreaming of a Champions League spot.

‘It is not good to go out of Europe but, if we had been in there, we would have played Thursday-Sunday and it may have been a different result against Portsmouth,’ he said.

‘Then, with the Carling Cup coming up this Wednesday as well, it would have been a heavy fixture list.

‘It means more rest for the players and it is showing at the moment. Of course, we wanted to do as well as possible in Europe - but it might be a blessing in disguise in terms of the league.

‘After the first game, we were getting stick and getting booed and it just shows it is a 38-game season. You've got to judge us at the end of the season - not after one game.

‘We knew we played poorly ourselves in the first game, and we also knew we could put it right, and the team is playing with confidence now.’

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