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Press article:

Nobby calls for reality check - 01/04/2004

Nobby calls for reality check
   John Gregory
   David O'Leary
   Aston Villa
   Newcastle United
   Manchester City

Nolberto Solano has called for a reality check at Villa Park, insisting players and fans should not to get too excited by their resurgence under David O'Leary.

The Peruvian international stresses Villa are only just starting out on their rebuilding process under the manager and will continue to experience highs and lows until they add some experience.

Solano, currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, has added his voice to the growing clamour for O'Leary to be given the funds to strengthen in the summer.

With Villa just three points off a Champions League place and facing struggling Manchester City at home on Sunday, expectation levels are as high now as they have been since the early days of John Gregory's reign.

But Solano errs on the side of caution.

He said: "The manager is building a team. Winning and losing games can happen when you are building. There are not too many experienced players in the team, so like the manager has said before, we have to go slowly.

"We'll try not to make the fans too excited because you can see with our squad that we need more players if we want to be challenging the likes of Newcastle and Liverpool. You need a bigger squad, and quality as well."

Solano is well aware of the massive importance European qualification carries for a club like Villa.

"We want to qualify and it is very important for the progress of the club. If you don't lose too many games and can draw or win games, you are there. It happened to us at Newcastle.

"You have to beat the teams down there and in the middle then, after that, challenge against the big teams. You have to try to introduce a belief into the players that it is possible."

Birmingham Evening News

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