O’Neill confident Aston Villa can finish fourth

Villa only managed a goalless draw at Stoke on Saturday.

He said: “I thought we defended brilliantly. You know what to expect when you play Stoke, they make it difficult for you.

“When (the long throw-in) comes in you have to be able to deal with it and we coped admirably with it.

“I thought we put ourselves on the line and we had some very brave players as well as some excellent players.”

Gabriel Agbonlahor was on the bench for Villa after having struggled with a virus earlier in the week.

O’Neill added: “He was feeling well enough and could have started the game, but the players last week did so well.

“Gabriel has missed very few games since I have been in charge here and he has missed very few games for us.

“This is where the squad system comes into play and whether we have the strength and depth that we have been talking about.

“We have very few weeks now where there isn’t a mid-week game and I think that represents how successful Aston Villa have been this season.”