Roberto di Matteo “Newcastle have probably started a little bit better than us…”
Aston Villa boss Roberto di Matteo is most definitely trying to believe that his glass is half full ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle United.
Newcastle have won seven times already in all competitions, whilst Aston Villa have only won one game all season and their results included an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to League Two Luton in the League Cup.
Despite this, Roberto di Matteo believes ‘Newcastle have probably started a little bit better than us…’!
Their last and only win this season was a home victory over Rotherham fully six weeks ago and the fickle Aston Villa fanbase have reacted in the usual way.
Gates have dropped by over five thousand in recent weeks, with the last home Championship match seeing an attendance of under thirty thousand.
Despite this, di Matteo claims the Villa fans ‘could make a really big difference for us’ and the Manager states that ‘Playing at home in front of our fans is always very exciting’.
With large sections of Villa Park closed off for the season due to lack of demand for tickets, it doesn’t appear that Villa supporters find the idea of turning up for matches quite as exciting as their manager does.
It is still early days but a Newcastle win would send United 10 points clear of the team that were second favourites for promotion before a ball was kicked but obviously a home win would see that gap close to four points. Roberto di Matteo saying this would ‘really get them back into the mix’.
The Championship recent form table (see it HERE) shows Newcastle topping it with 15 points from 18 whilst Villa have only picked up more points than three other clubs in those last half dozen matches.
After Newcastle United basically confirmed their relegation at Villa Park only four months ago, no doubt Rafa Benitez will be reminding all of his players that this match is particularly important to the fans and that any repeat of last Saturday’s display against Wolves won’t be tolerated.
Roberto di Matteo speaking to the Birmingham Mail:
“It’s a big game for both clubs.
“Newcastle have probably started a little bit better than us, it’s a team that likes to play a lot on the counter attack as well.
“They seem to be quite a solid team as well so I think we’ll have to be patient to break them down and create our chances.
“I think they’re defensively very strong and then try with the offensive players that they have to hurt you.
“I’m not sure whether it’s going to be a classic but it should have the ingredients for a good game.
“They (Aston Villa fans) could make a really big difference for us.
“Playing at home in front of our fans is always very exciting and I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday.
“ It could really kick-start our season – by winning on Saturday we could really get back into the mix and really give us a boost of confidence.”
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