Villa boss O'Neill: Clough inspiration for Spanish trip

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has revealed his squad's Spanish trip this week was inspired by his former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.

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O'Neill told Villa's website: "It's a change of environment. When I was with Nottingham Forest, Brian Clough used to take us away nearly every third week.

"Looking back, it was terrific because it helped nurture a tremendous team spirit. There's a good spirit here too and I think coming away for a few days can help that.

"I think it will get the players together and if we can get any half decent weather, if the sun breaks through, it should be great.

"I think, as I have said before, the players have played a lot of games this season and there hasn't been a lot of chopping and changing with the side. This is really, like this time last year, a chance for them to get a bit of a breather.

"It worked for us last year so there's a little bit of superstition there in doing it again.

"Saying that, all great plans can go astray. If we come back and lose the next seven games, people will be telling me it was a hopeless idea.

"Joking aside, I think it's good for the players to get away for a few days, be together with a bit of training thrown in too. They can then get ready for a crucial last third of the season.

"There's a bit of banter and a good spirit. But they know the most important thing is matchday. That's the main issue."

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