O'Neill named Aston Villa manager

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Martin O'Neill has been hired as Aston Villa manager and promised to restore the Birmingham club to "those fantastic glory days".

Birmingham:

Martin O'Neill has been hired as Aston Villa manager and promised to restore the Birmingham club to "those fantastic glory days". The former Celtic and Leicester coach succeeds David O'Leary, who was fired last month after three seasons with the Premier League club. O'Neill, who returns to soccer management after leaving Celtic 18 months ago to care for his sick wife, said he was "overwhelmed" by the reception he received from several hundred fans who turned up at Villa Park for his arrival. Ready for the challenge "Absolutely petrified," O'Neill said when introduced at a Villa Park news conference. "It's a fantastic challenge and I'm willing and ready to go. I have a lot of enthusiasm, but I'm ready. I want to do it." O'Neill praised the club's history, but insisted "there's still a long way to go. But no sympathetic votes. I'm ready for the challenge." Villa won the English league title in 1981 and captured the European Cup the following season, beating Bayern Munich in the final. "I think everyone's well aware of the history of the soccer club and trying to restore it to those fantastic glory days," O'Neill said. "It's nearly a quarter century ago (from when it won a European Cup), though we're a long way away from that." Chairman Doug Ellis said O'Neill's "passion and ability to motivate players is unsurpassed", and that he had not spoken to any other manager about the vacancy. (AP)

Topics : Football
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