Forest boss says the play-off battle could turn into a dog fight for sixth place this season as Smith’s Villa look for third win in a row
By Graham Hill
NOTTINGHAM Forest boss Martin O’Neill takes on former club Aston Villa insisting they are fighting for just one spot.
O’Neill left Villa nine years ago in a cash row with then-owner Randy Lerner.
Now the Irishman hopes he can deny Dean Smith’s side a play-off place.
But O’Neill knows it will be tight – as he believes that sixth place is the only realistic target left.
The Forest boss wants back to back wins after being Hull on Saturday.
O’Neill told reporters: “There are a number of teams condensed within a point or two of each other.
“The other results at the weekend didn’t go so badly for us and there are some other teams who’re in the same position as ourselves.
“While we might just be fighting for one spot, it’s still worthwhile.
“We are in with a chance and we have to try and follow up back-to-back victories if we can get them.
“It’s been a problem for us for some considerable time but the feelgood factor is great.”
O’Neill noted Villa’s controversial win over Birmingham at the weekend and knows they come to the City Ground in form.
He added: “It’s an opportunity for us and I’ll go with it.
“The match at the weekend was terrific and we have to follow it up now
“We’re at home, we have this opportunity and let’s try and take it if we can. It won’t be easy, Villa are on the back of a great win themselves in the derby but it is a game for us.
“With the two games left before the international break, we have got to still be thinking that we are in with a shout.
“There will be twists and turns but we are in there, we are battling as we have been for some time.
“We are in there with a chance and while there are still points to gather, if you can do that then you’re going to make it.”