No concerns for O'Neill

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill admitted his side needed to improve after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Rapid Vienna in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier on Thursday night.

Nikica Jelavic scored the only goal inside the first minute and the dominant Austrians could have had another with Christopher Drazan having a shot cleared off the line by Curtis Davies. It marked a disappointing start to the season for Villa, who lost to Wigan in their Barclays Premier League opener last weekend.

"We need to improve and keep improving. As the whole squad gets wound up and fully fit then we will be okay."

Form was also poor towards the end of the last campaign as Villa fell out of Champions League contention. O'Neill must now pick his side up for a league trip to Liverpool on Monday before hosting Rapid in the return three days later, but the Irishman believes his side can bounce back.

"The games are hard and approaching us pretty quickly but when we settle down this season we will be absolutely fine," O'Neill added.

Villa's best moments came in the second half but Davies headed over from one clear-cut opportunity and the visitors failed to seriously test opposing goalkeeper Helge Payer. Despite that O'Neill believes his side can bounce back in the second leg and progress.

"We tried to create and in so doing, when you are getting players forward, obviously you are going to leave gaps but overall I'm pleased," he added.

"The goal has come after 15 or 16 seconds which is obviously very disappointing in any game but particularly in a European tie. We have to fight back from that and I think we're capable of doing that."

He added: "We knew this was going to be exceptionally difficult - so will the return tie - but we are going to try to win. We are still well in the game and have a great match to look forward to next week.

"Of course we can overturn it. It was never going to be an easy match but this time next week we will be fitter again."

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Curtis Davies
Wigan Athletic
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