Taylor throws down challenge

Last updated : 04 January 2003 By Brian Cartlidge
With Villa now out of both knock-out cup competitions, that is the only way they can qualify for European football next season.

After the humiliating 4-1 home defeat to Blackburn, Taylor told the clubs official website: “It’s very disappointing in that this was our last chance of silverware this season.

“We’ve made a big issue about the FA Cup and how long it’s been since this club won it. This is another year to add onto that massive total since 1957.

“I’ve said myself that, if there’s anything I’d put high on the list when I returned to Villa Park, it was to be to manage an FA Cup winning Villa side.

“The supporters and everybody here would give everything for that, but that’s gone straight out of the window.

“So we have 16 Premiership games now to look at. We’re seven points from the top-seven and ten points above the bottom three.

“We’ve just got to get on now with 16 games to go and aim to finish higher than we did last season, which was eighth.”

On the third round defeat, Taylor added: “We should have been three or four clear at half-time and you’re not expecting then to go on and lose a game 4-1.

“I wouldn’t use this as an excuse, but we were a little makeshift at the back and today the three games in a week caught-up with Rob Edwards – that’s perfectly understandable.

“Jlloyd Samuel has done extremely well and been very good for us, but he wouldn’t be my first selection as a centre-back.

“He got caught out for the first goal. He was out-jumped for one of the corners as well. “If I felt at the end of the day that some of our players hadn’t tried, then I would be very critical. But I don’t feel that way.

“I feel it’s a very strange result, a very disappointing one, but these things do happen and they always happen at the worst possible time.”