Aston Villa boss O’Neill: We must win to repay Lerner

He said: “I get on very well with Randy Lerner and I won’t abuse that sort of relationship in any way. But the best way for me not to abuse it is by reciprocating and by winning some football matches.

“He’s been fantastically supportive. Every single thing you could ask for, he’s done even if we haven’t always been able to put some of the ideas we’ve had into practice.

“He hasn’t given things a second thought. He’s just said, ‘right, okay, let’s get on with it’ and so it would be nice to reciprocate by winning some football matches.

“I think he can see we’re moving forward. Sometimes people who don’t see us play will jump on the bandwagon and think ‘beaten again’.

“It’s nice to play as well as we are in terms of entertainment. I’m feeling upbeat about how we have been playing but I know, deep down, it’s a results business.”