Mentality the key for O’Neill

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is desperate to instil a winning mentality into his players, as he seeks to guide the club to a top-four finish in the Premier league.

Villa are currently in fifth place in the table, ahead of a clash with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park this weekend.

O'Neill told the club's official website:"What do we need to do to break into that elite group?

"First, we need to improve technically, which is obviously very important. We have a number of players in the side who are really good footballers.

"Defensively we have improved and what we can do now – from the back – is manoeuvre the ball a little bit better. But I want the whole side to be comfortable on the ball. I want players to not be overly concerned about receiving the ball under pressure.

"Look at Chelsea – they are so strong. I know I tend to mention them more than any of the other top four sides, but I think they have a great mentality, work ethic and they are physically very strong.

"Now they have been there for four or five years, it is almost burned into them that winning football games is what it's all about. This winning mentality is vital, it's keeping them going.

"We need that winning mentality too – that is so, so important. I can't stress it enough.

"It's not about being just nearly there, not about 'that's not so bad', it's a genuine winning mentality."

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