Davies - We are here to stay
Curtis Davies is confident Villa can carry their impressive form into the second half of the season.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 30/12/08 10:31am
Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies is confident his team can carry their impressive form into the second half of the season.
Villa's performances since the beginning of the campaign have seen them mount a serious challenge for a UEFA Champions League place.
Martin O'Neill's side currently sit fifth in the Premier League table level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game less.
Villa's top-four credentials were given a further boost on Boxing Day when an injury-time Zat Knight strike salvaged a well-deserved draw at home to Arsene Wenger's men.
O'Neill will take his side to Hull on Tuesday night hoping to build on the Arsenal result and go three points clear of their rivals and level on points with Manchester United.
"We are in our current position because we deserved it," Davies insists.
"It was a massive result against Arsenal and a massive boost for us. If we can follow up that performance at Hull we will be well on the way to maintaining our impressive form.
"But the Hull game is tricky in the light of their last two defeats. They could easily bite back as they have done well against the big clubs.
"We have to be very wary of a side who have suffered an injury to their pride. Going into 2009 we now need to keep doing everything we have done already this season.
"We have played very well for the first half of the season but we know it is no use slowing down in the second half.
"We need to keep it going to remain one step ahead of the opposition. There is a massive spirit in the club and to come back from being 2-0 down against a team like Arsenal is a tremendous achievement.
"We have to take confidence from this performance. We have a good squad and depending upon what the manager does in the January transfer window, we believe we can stay in the top four."
Despite O'Neill openly declaring his wish to add to his squad in the transfer window, the former Luton Town centre-back believes that recent enforced changes to the starting line-up highlight the club's already strong strength in depth.
"Remember we also have big John Carew to come back after his back injury," explained the 23-year-old.
"Martin Laursen and Carlos Cuellar were also missing from the Arsenal game and to make two changes in the back four against such a team as Arsenal and do really well shows the depth at Villa."
With skipper Laursen ruled out for a month with a knee injury, Davies found himself partnered with the towering Knight for the Gunners match.
The former Fulham man has seen opportunities for regular first-team football hard to come by this season but Davies was impressed with his performance on Boxing Day.
"Zat has been frustrated because he has not played as often as he would have liked," he added.
"But against Arsenal he stood head and shoulders above everyone."
Villa are expected to name an unchanged side from the Arsenal clash at the KC Stadium on Tuesday.