Villa boss O'Neill reassessing Uefa Cup priority

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is prepared to sacrifice the Midlanders bid for UEFA Cup glory for a Champions League place next season.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is prepared to sacrifice the Midlanders bid for UEFA Cup glory for a Champions League place next season.

The Villa boss is contemplating making changes for Thursday's UEFA Cup last-32 second-leg clash away to CSKA Moscow after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw.

"The irony of it all is that we spent all last year breaking our necks to get into the UEFA Cup. We started in July in the Intertoto just to get into it," O'Neill said.

"Now we are in the final 32 and we are maybe having second or third look at it.

"I have to try and please Villa fans and I think they would look at that and think the Premier League, which can eventually drive you into the Champions League, is the Holy Grail.

"It seems strange we are in that position. Had we been seventh, eighth, 10th in the league, it might have been a different outlook.

"Football has changed and chasing a top-four place in the Premier League, to get you into the Champions League, is everything."

O'Neill added: "I'll have a look at in on Monday and see where we go. We have made all this effort to get into the UEFA Cup in the first place. We are there but I knew these things (the schedule) were coming up."

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