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O'Neill insists Villa players didn't freeze against Fulham

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists his players didn't freeze after yesterday's 0-0 draw with Fulham.

A win would've taken Villa into third place, but O'Neill said afterwards: "I think from the outside it is easy to throw at us that we have choked but I don't believe that.

"We went into the game full of confidence and with our hopes high after the previous two games.

"It is tough. Fulham were cock-a-hoop after their draw at Liverpool, played the same system, and it was tough for us to break them down.

"But as regards choking, I do not accept that. Every game is hard and we are not brilliant enough at the moment to steamroll teams but we are doing fine."

O'Neill admitted: "The result is disappointing for us. We had three opportunities in the game and it would have been great to take one of them.

"But we should have carved out more although there was no lack of effort in the team. It was an opportunity for us today and we did not grasp it.

"We have to remember that we have good players who are in their early 20s. It is all about learning but I do think this team can grow into something."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said: "We are having an impressive sequence of results and it is down to the discipline and hard work we are showing.

"I thought in the first half we did quite well in terms of passing the ball around and were not just defending.

"We were under siege a bit in the second half, the most we have been for a while, and Villa threw everything at us in that period.

"But we limited them to crosses from deep positions. They were most dangerous from set-pieces but the back four and our 'keeper were very strong again."

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