O'Neill hits back at Zico

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Martin O'Neill has insisted Aston Villa are not one-dimensional in the way they play as he hit back at comments from his CSKA Moscow counterpart and UEFA Cup rival Zico.

Brazilian legend Zico intimated that Villa were predictable in their approach and over-reliant on winger Ashley Young during the 1-1 draw at Villa Park last week. But O'Neill said: "I don't accept Zico's point because one of the outstanding players the other night was a central midfielder for us called Stiliyan Petrov."

The former Celtic boss added: "Funnily enough, Ashley Young didn't play against Wigan recently and someone said then that all we did was get it out wide for James Milner to lob in a couple of hopeful balls.

"Funnily enough, I knew the way CSKA were going to play. But I wouldn't be running around telling them whether how they play is good, bad or indifferent.

"When I was at Notts Forest, we won the league championship and two European Cups - which I don't think CSKA Moscow have won - by getting the ball out wide to a world-class winger (John Robertson).

"He beat a couple of players, whipped it in and then Gary Birtles or Tony Woodcock headed it into the net.

"I am sure Zico would also have played in a side that can also get the ball out wide and beat players. I thought it was part of the game.

"I don't know whether what Zico said was a criticism. The fact they were unable to stop a world-class player like Young from doing what is allowed on the pitch might tell me something."

"It is a cop-out. I don't accept what he has said. If getting it wide and someone beating three or four players exhilarates the crowd, I don't see a great deal wrong with it.

"We are not one-dimensional. Absolutely not. Far from it - and I wouldn't go and tell Moscow how to play."

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Europa League
European News
James Milner
Stiliyan Petrov
Premier League
Ashley Young
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa

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