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Coleman proud of his squad

last updated Sunday 22nd October 2006, 12:31 AM

Cottagers boss Chris Coleman applauded Petrov's 'clever play' which he believed fooled Foy into awarding Villa's spot-kick.

'We didn't think it was a penalty, of course,' Coleman said. 'Clever play from Petrov, got his leg tangled up with Liam.

'But the referee has to see that.'

Coleman had nothing but praise for his side's response, however, saying: 'We came here with a plan and it worked - and we're delighted.

'I've been saying this all season about this group of lads: we don't know when we're beaten at the minute. There's more resilience and keep grinding it out.

'That's the belief in the team and we've shown that today.'

Fulham have now taken five points from the last three games and Coleman believes a radical rethink on how his side prepare for matches is behind their good form.

He said: 'We're doing everything differently. It wasn't rocket science after the points we had last year.

'We looked at what we could across the board in terms of travel, eating times, training times when playing away games.

'The points we've had away from home is already the same as we had throughout the whole of last season.

'We're more resilient. We're very strong at the centre of defence.

'We can build on that.'

However, he refused to get carried away, urging his players to keep their feet on the ground.

Fulham's Moritz Volz admitted he was in shock after registering his first Premiership goal in tonight's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

'I think anyone could see from my reaction I was shocked,' he said.

'But I'm glad I could help to put us back into the game to get a point here at Villa Park.'

Volz, usually a full-back, was deployed in midfield and admitted he was beginning to tire before his equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

'I can use my legs. As long as I'm in the team, I've got a happy face,' he said.

'Today, I really felt it, especially towards the end. The goal gave me a big lift.'

Centre-back Zat Knight believes Villa were fortunate to be awarded a penalty after referee Chris Foy adjudged Liam Rosenior had fouled Stiliyan Petrov.

'I didn't think it was a penalty. The guys just touched shoulders and he bundled over,' said Knight, who was booked for his protest.

'I was a bit furious about it. That's why he gave me a yellow card, because I was quite persistent in my argument.'

Knight admits Fulham's attitude was all wrong last season but insists that has all changed.

'We've got really good fighting spirit,' he said. 'We just need to keep it up. We've done better away from home than we did last season.

'Everyone wants to work together and fight for each other. I don't think we did that last season.

'If we can keep that up, hopefully we can finish in that top nine, where we want to finish.'

Villa manager Martin O'Neill was extremely disappointed with his side's display, which came on the back of another below-par performance against Tottenham.

'That was poor. We played poorly,' he said.

'We didn't deserve to win the game and we can obviously do much better.

'We were poor for long periods. The first half against Tottenham Hotspur, we didn't play well. That was as bad as we've done this season.

'I thought we would be ready for that today. We just didn't galvanise ourselves. (It is) a shame really, but we didn't play well.

'Neither side deserved to win the game.'

O'Neill admitted he was surprised Barry took the penalty after Juan Pablo Angel had told his manager he was prepared to continue spot-kick duties despite missing five of his last six, including against Spurs.

'Juan Pablo said that he was up for it,' O'Neill said.

'So when we got the penalty kick I thought Juan would step up to do it but of course, they must have had their own plan.'

Villa Park was only around two-thirds full and O'Neill believes there is only one way to sell it out every home game.

'The product the fans were looking for just wasn't good enough today and we'll have to do much, much better,' he said.

'It's up to us to impress ourselves on the opposition, try and do well enough to keep Aston Villa fans happy and today they weren't.

'The only way we're going to get fans back is by playing brilliantly, winning football games and have the crowd on their feet and today we failed to do that.'

'It's been a good first nine games but that's all it is,' he said.


Source Soccernet
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