O'Neill predicts Villa revival
Martin O'Neill is backing Aston Villa to recapture former glories as he denied leaving his old club by quitting when he did.
O'Neill returned to Villa Park for the first time with his current team Sunderland on Saturday and was booed by the home fans before and during a goalless draw, after walking out on them five days before the start of the 2010/2011 season. The Northern Irishman led Villa to three top-six Barclays Premier League finishes and the Carling Cup final - a contrast to their current position just above the relegation zone, but O'Neill is adamant he left Villa in a far stronger position than when he took charge during the summer of 2006. O'Neill said: "The booing is the nature of the game. I've been booed before. I was booed at Leicester City after not being able to win for six or seven games. "In the scheme of things, I expected it and I got it because it's never been explained why I departed from the football club. "But this idea I left them in the lurch has gone beyond all sorts of comprehension. I found them in the lurch, I'm not so sure I left them in the lurch."