Aston Villa news

Ron Vlaar praises Aston Villa spirit

November 25, 2013
By PA Sport

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar saluted his team's spirit after they recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with West Brom.

Ashley Westwood
PA PhotosAshley Westwood celebrates his equaliser against West Brom.

The Baggies and Shane Long in particular caught Villa cold early on as two fine strikes from the striker put them clear.

It could have been more too, with Stephane Sessegnon in particular guilty of a bad miss that may have settled the issue, but Villa stayed in the game and after Karim El Ahmadi pulled one back, Ashley Westwood got a stunning second to earn a point.

“I'm very happy. We showed some mentality,” Vlaar told Sky Sports 1. “The first half was not good at all. If you start the way we did, you're in trouble. They scored two in the first 10 minutes and had a good chance of a third. We are lucky they didn't score.

“In the second half we turned it around and I'm very proud. The mentality we showed shows what we are capable of.”

Manager Paul Lambert's introduction from the bench of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph and Andreas Weimann -- all on the road back from injury -- gave Villa the impetus they needed.

“I thought we were fantastic,” the Scot said. “We were terrific when we got going and were resolute. We were 2-0 down in 10 minutes and knew we had to hang on to half-time.

“We spoke about the subs at length and I thought we had to get them on quickly as we knew we needed a goal. To lose the three when we did was a blow and they only started to train on Friday.”

After witnessing Long's early brilliance, Albion boss Steve Clarke was disappointed to let the three points slip.

“I think, when you're leading 2-0 midway through the second half, you feel you should get the three points,” he said. “Villa made a few changes, the energy of the subs unsettled us and we gave away a bad goal. They took advantage.

“We missed one clear-cut chance to make it 3-0 and if it goes 3-0 it's probably over. In a local derby you never know. At half-time we knew the next goal would be crucial and sometimes chasing at 2-0 down you get a bit of luck.”

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