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THE JOL VERDICT

Posted on 4 October 2007  - 12:00

Before turning his attention completely towards Anorthosis Famagusta in the UEFA Cup, Martin Jol offered his final thoughts on Monday evening's drama against Aston Villa at the Lane.

Before turning his attention completely towards Anorthosis Famagusta in the UEFA Cup, Martin Jol offered his final thoughts on Monday evening's drama against Aston Villa at the Lane.I HAVE NEVER experienced anything like Monday night against Aston Villa. The crowd were still supporting us at 4-1 down and that was really something given the circumstances, but it says everything about our supporters.

I was embarrassed, it was our 125th anniversary and we fell 4-1 behind, bringing all the problems on ourselves through a lack of concentration and communication. These things can be avoided, we've had a team meeting and, although we were jubilant at the end of the game, in hindsight we have to be realistic and know we’ve got to do much better.

It did not work out for us until late on in the game and the Aston Villa fans started singing with some English humour and that is one reason why football is so big over here. It was an awful sensation though, but we came back from three goals behind and showed a lot of character.

Out of very little things we have made big problems and it is about communication and that is what we have to improve on and if we don't have an experienced character at the back then someone else has to pull the strings.

That goes for all areas of the pitch and if individuals don't take that responsibility you will have a problem all the time. That is what we have to avoid.

I hope the exhilaration the whole squad and staff felt at the end will act as something of a turning point in our league fortunes. We will have our disappointments yet as long as we show the commitment with the quality we've got, the talent we have in the group, we will learn from these setbacks and be stronger for it.

I feel in the last five games we have played pretty well but the results have not illustrated this. Even against Villa, it is a bit awkward to say, but I believe we performed okay. In the first 20 minutes we created chances, scored a goal and we had a confident feeling. But just a minute later we gave away a goal and that changed the complexion of the match.

We still have to force the issue and grab games by the scruff of the neck. I think it is a great thing for the players to have to cope with expectations all the time because we have to compete with the likes of Liverpool and often we do that, but sometimes we let ourselves down with elements of the game like set pieces. That is about concentration, physical ability and mental strength.

We have all the qualities in our players and it is about team work as well. It was a rather strange night on Monday, I felt horrible, but then to come back to 4-4 in the dying seconds on such a special occasion for the Club, we have to believe a corner is now there to be turned.