Aston Villa news

Villa 'keeper Guzan reveals barrage of missiles

August 20, 2010

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan was grateful to emerge unscathed after coming under fire from a handful of Rapid Vienna supporters.

Brad Guzan clasps a cross in Vienna
GettyImagesBrad Guzan clasps a cross in Vienna

• MacDonald hails young guns

Guzan had lighters, coins and beverages thrown at him during the second half of Thursday night's Europa League play-off draw.

The 25-year-old American made a point at one stage of picking up one of the objects and handing it to Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer, who in turn passed it on to the fourth official. UEFA is currently awaiting both Hamer's report and that of the match delegate in attendance before deciding whether action should be taken.

Guzan, though, simply took what occurred in his stride as he said: "It's part of the game, part of the environment. The fans create a good atmosphere for their team, and we knew it was going to be a tough game.

"It's a situation when you go into a hostile environment you know the fans aren't going to be too kind to you and you try to get on with it. I had a few lighters, a couple of coins and some beverages thrown at me. All the beverages hit, but as for the other things, not too many.

"It's obviously not something anybody should have to cope with, and it's not something you like to see. Playing with the national team in central America and some of those countries, I've seen it before.

"But you try to do your best because at the end of the day the ref can't go into the stands and remove people, so you know it's going to happen and you try to stay focused on the game. As to whether UEFA do anything, that's not for me to decide. But there were UEFA officials here, so whether they look at it or not is up to them.''

The 1-1 draw was a creditable result for a Villa side that included two debutants as caretaker-manager Kevin MacDonald put his faith in the club's young players. Villa's cup goalkeeper Guzan concedes that despite the uncertainty regarding the managerial situation, the players are simply keeping their heads down and getting on with their jobs.

"We're just trying to get on with our football. We know the games are going to come pretty fast, so we have to ensure we're ready,'' Guzan said. "He's been doing a good job so far. It's a situation where he's trying to get on with it, help the team and be successful in these games, and the players are doing the same.

"I'm sure the chairman will look to name somebody in the next few weeks, and if that's Kev then great. But if it's somebody else then we will look to keep the team moving forward. We know what we have to do on the field, and at the end of the day that's what matters.''