Hughes impressed by Fulham spirit

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

Pantsil had the misfortune to score his third own goal of the season when he inadvertently headed in a centre from Villa winger Stewart Downing. The defender had also put the ball past his own goalkeeper in the corresponding fixture at Villa Park last season. Hughes admitted Pantsil was affected by the setback and took him off shortly after half-time. But he saluted the comeback from his team as goals from Andrew Johnson and Clint Dempsey cancelled out the error from Pantsil and Kyle Walker's effort. Hughes said: "John was disappointed at half-time. It was affecting him so I made the early decision to take him off. "It was a difficult ball for him to deal with but he got it wrong and it can affect your confidence. "You always review every goal you concede to try to erase any little defaults. "But I was pleased with the way the team came back twice and kicked on and in the end we could have taken three points." Hughes added: "We picked ourselves up from the own goal and restricted Villa to very few opportunities in the first half. "It was a great finish by Andrew Johnson and we then really took the game to Villa and asked questions of them. "We went behind again but we kept going, weren't to be denied and showed great quality." In contrast, Villa boss Gerard Houllier felt his side paid the penalty for a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. Houllier must be fed up with playing the Cottagers as they scored a last-minute goal earlier in the season to force a 1-1 draw. Houllier said: "We dropped two points today. Had we got a second goal at 1-0 the game would have been over. "But we have to be disappointed with ourselves, we have to blame ourselves. "I'm disappointed with the result but not the performance. At times we played good football and are improving. But we need to be more clinical and ruthless. "That was also the case when we played Manchester United here. In the final third, we must show more aggression. But it is a long season and we are learning. "We could also have avoided both goals we conceded. We have enough height at the back. "The players were disappointed with themselves but there are positives I can take from the game."


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