Lichaj calls for more

Defender wants Villa to bounce back against Chelsea

Eric Lichaj: The USA defender insists Aston Villa can more than match Chelsea at the weekend if they up their game

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Eric Lichaj has told his Aston Villa team-mates they need to up their game if they are to avoid another defeat when Chelsea visit Villa Park on Saturday.

The USA full-back made his first Premier League appearance this season at the weekend in their 3-0 defeat at the hands of an Arsenal side in red-hot form after a long injury lay-off.

His return to action came as a welcome boost for under pressure manager Alex McLeish but the result took the shine off it for Lichaj.

One win in seven games leaves Villa sitting in 15th position with no realistic hope of qualifying for Europe next season.

And the 23-year-old called on his team-mates to 'step up' if they are to avoid getting sucked into a relegation battle that would have been unthinkable at the start of the season.

"It doesn't really make any difference that I got on the pitch - if we'd have won the game I'd have been happy regardless," Lichaj told Villa's official website.

Chances

"After the first half it got a little bit better but it is never a good mood after a loss. We had a couple of chances at the beginning of the game and if we took those it could have been different.

"But you always have to be on the top of your game in any game in the Premier League. We came out and showed a bit of life after the break but it is never good when you lose a game.

"Next week we need to try and can change that. Hopefully everyone will be sharp for the Chelsea game at the weekend.

"Football is all about rising to the occasion and we need to win some games. Hopefully everyone will step up to the plate, be a team and win that game."