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But boss admits Villans are outsiders...

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill was left delighted with how his team dug out a resilient 2-1 win at Portsmouth to keep their dreams of fourth place alive. 

“I thought that considering that we played three games in relatively quick succession we had to win and keep going and although we gave up chances at the other end we kept going until the end," he told Sky Sports.

“I thought it might not be our day when we had a cast iron penalty not given in the first half then were given one and proceeded to miss it.  Having said that despite everything else said this team goes to the bitter end and we showed that today.

“To give ourselves any proper chance we’ll have to win all of our remaining games. We’re delighted to have taken three points and we’ll go to Hull still full of hope.  I accept we’re the outsiders [in the race for fourth] but we’ve still got everything to go for.”

The Villa manager was also particularly pleased for Nathan Delfouneso, who scored the winner with his first Premier League goal. 

”I’m delighted for him [Delfouneso].  He’s going to be a real proper player," explained O'Neill.

"If he keeps his feet on the ground he’ll be excellent.”

James Milner, who has been one of Aston Villa’s star performers this season was equally happy to secure a crucial three points and wouldn’t rule out the possibility of his side still reaching fourth place.

“It’s a tough place to come.  They’re playing with freedom now. It’s a tight ground, they’re right on top of you and it was a hot day.  It was tough for both teams and we managed to move it around quite well," he explained.

“We created a lot of chances and moved the ball well and could have probably scored more but we got the second and that was the important thing.

“We’re still in the hunt and it’s going to be tough.  We’re going to need some help but if we take maximum points from our remaining games and if we finish with more points than last season that will be an improvement.”

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