Draw 'reasonable outcome' for O'Neill

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill admitted his side did not do enough to warrant victory following the goalless draw against Stoke at a windy Britannia Stadium.

In a match of few opportunities, Stewart Downing's shot which inadvertently deflected off Villa team-mate John Carew but hit the side-netting with goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen wrong-footed and Stoke defender Robert Huth's late header over the top were probably the best for both sides.

"We would love to have won the game but it was never going to be easy," said O'Neill. "Stoke are always very difficult, so maybe it was a reasonable outcome. There weren't many chances in the game and the wind didn't help matters."

He added: "It was a tough afternoon. We defended very stoutly indeed and the game didn't have that many clear-cut chances. At the end of the day a draw was probably a fair result."

Stoke have lost just once at home since the turn of the year - to Arsenal - and have had only two defeats at the Britannia since September 26.

Potters boss Tony Pulis praised his side for their work-rate after a third match in a week.

"It was a very windy day and I thought the teams were very honest and committed," he said.

"When it blows you it is ever so difficult. You think it is windy and cold up in that [main] stand but you get down by that pitch and it is very blustery.

"We've had a very busy period and a three-game week and when you catch a top team in your third game, it is always very difficult - especially when they haven't played in midweek.

"However, I thought we got stronger as the game wore on and in the last 30 minutes we were the stronger team and were the ones pushing forward and had the better opportunities."

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Stoke City
Stewart Downing
Robert Huth
John Carew
Premier League
Aston Villa
Thomas Sorensen

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