Petrov expects O’Neill to stay

And the Bulgaria international is hoping O’Neill will be able to

bring in new signings during the summer to further strengthen the

Villa squad. O’Neill has already confirmed that he will “discuss

everything” with club owner Randy Lerner at the end of the current

campaign. But the former Celtic boss has strongly hinted he will

complete the rebuilding job that is already under way at Villa.

When asked about O’Neill’s future, Petrov said: “I’ve said before I

am not worrying about that and nothing has changed. “Martin is

someone who, when he starts something, he wants to finish it so I’m

hoping he will be here in the summer. “As for signings, it is

always good to strengthen the team and we hope we are going to see

new faces coming in to improve and to make us better.” Villa’s

hopes of winning silverware ended with the 3-0 FA Cup semi-final

reversal against Chelsea on Saturday. Villa can claim with every

justification to have been denied a clear-cut penalty early in the

game when John Obi Mikel brought down striker Gabriel Agbonlahor,

although referee Howard Webb thought otherwise. It added to their

frustration after Phil Dowd failed to send off Manchester United

defender Nemanja Vidic in the Carling Cup final when, as the last

defender, he brought down Agbonlahor in the box. But Petrov also

believes Villa have themselves to blame for Saturday’s outcome

before goals from Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard

gave a flattering look to the final scoreline for the Blues. He

said: “It is not the best feeling at the moment but it’s football.

We are very disappointed. There were a lot of heads down after the

game because we felt we deserved more from the game and we got

nothing. “Decisions didn’t go our way. At the end of the day,

that’s football and we need to blame ourselves. “You have to score

goals to win games. We didn’t manage to do that, they scored three

and went through. “What can we learn? When you get chances, you

need to take them because teams like Chelsea, when they get even

half a chance, they take them.” Petrov is confident Villa’s season

will not fade out and they will still push hard for a European spot

ahead of Wednesday’s home clash with Everton. He said: “It won’t be

hard to bounce back. We know what people expect. We showed at

Wembley that we can come back after a very heavy defeat against

Chelsea a couple of weeks ago in the league. “We played really well

and we are going to kick on. We’ve got another game on Wednesday

and we are going to try and qualify for Europe. “That is the

ambition now. That will drive us on. “I said before the Carling Cup

final that we could have a great season and end up without

anything. We need to make sure we end up with something we can

celebrate. “After losing the final and the semi-final, it has made

us even stronger to get there.” Drogba opened the deadlock midway

through the second period – his 32nd goal of the campaign – then

Malouda and Lampard scored in the dying minutes as Villa pushed in

vain for an equaliser.