O'Neill denies fear factor

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Martin O'Neill believes his Aston Villa players do not have a phobia about playing at home - despite failing to win a Barclays Premier League game at Villa Park for three months.

The Villa boss insists the confidence of his squad has been fully restored after the impressive performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, despite eventually losing 3-2.

He said: "The irony of it all is that the players this week have had confidence restored by the performance. Now the big test comes on Sunday because that can change in half an hour."

Villa have won only five home league games all season - the last of those coming against West Brom on January 10.

It is in sharp contrast to the 10 victories on their travels which have kept alive their hopes of securing a top four finish.

And they will be looking to halt a run of nine games without a win in all competitions when they tackle European rivals Everton at Villa Park on Sunday.

O'Neill said: "We need to win the game on Sunday. We need to get back on track. Everton feel as if they are capable after their match last weekend (against Wigan) of making the top four.

"They are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They have done excellently. This is a big game for them but equally a big game for us.

"But, even though our record has not been good enough at home, statistically speaking at least, the players still look forward to the games at home.

"Things can go badly for you, like in the second half when we were last at home against Tottenham. But the players still enjoy playing at home and that is really important."

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Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Manchester United
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa
FA Cup

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