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Friedel: Aston Villa must finish in top five

Brad Friedel says finishing fifth is essential for Aston Villa.

The goalkeeper told AVTV: "I think it is massively important that we finish in fifth this season. If we do that, it's been a step up from the previous campaign. That would be great.

"As long as there is a progression made, everyone - the fans, chairman, manager and players - will be upbeat about the coming season.

"If we do miss out, it won't be a lost season but it is important to see one of our goals achieved and that was finishing higher than last season. That would give us a boost ahead of the coming season.

"Saying that, if someone had offered me fifth at the start of the season, I wouldn't have accepted it. When I was doing all my talks before I joined, the ambition of the club was impressed upon me.

"I'm not saying it's a god-given right [to finish fourth] but we had a great chance at one stage to solidify our place in fourth.

"It wasn't to be and certainly doesn't mean this season is a throw-away. But if you handed me fifth at the start, I wouldn't have taken it, I would have played the season through and seen what happened."

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