Friedel demands unity

Villa goalkeeper insists players must take responsibility

Friedel: Wants unity

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Brad Friedel believes the time has come for Aston Villa's squad to show a united front in the club's battle against relegation.

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"Everything that has transpired this season needs to be pushed to one side. There's no hiding place."

Brad Friedel

Quotes of the week

The Midlands club are currently just a point above the relegation zone in the tightly-packed lower reaches of the table, where Blackburn in 13th are only three points better off than rock-bottom Wigan.

Reports have emerged of some members of Gerard Houllier's squad being unhappy with the rule of the French tactician, while James Collins and Richard Dunne were recently disciplined following a row with coaching staff during a team-bonding session.

Houllier has come under fire from supporters, particularly in the wake of Villa's limp FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester City, but Friedel insists it is the club's players who need to take responsibility for their predicament.

"We have got a tremendous squad of talented players. We have obviously had ups and downs this season, but we have eight games now to get as many points on the board as possible," Friedel said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester.

No hiding place

"We need to all be one. All the stories that have been going about, a lot of them are untrue, it's people just trying to stir things up because things haven't been going well on the pitch.

"But we need to put all that to one side, starting on Saturday (at Everton)."

When asked if he could understand why problems have occurred this season, Friedel responded: "Yes, I have been there every day and I have watched it unfold in front of me.

"In today's game players have to take a lot more responsibility than perhaps they do on a daily basis.

"Once you cross the white line there is no-one there to hold your hand. You have to be out there and you have to win the games.

"It's up to us to get enough points to keep us in this division. There is nothing more that needs to be said. Everything that has transpired this season needs to be pushed to one side. There's no hiding place."

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