O'Neill: Poor decision hard to take

BY foxsports • February 28, 2010

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill was at a loss to understand how Nemanja Vidic was not sent off in Sunday's Carling Cup final at Wembley.

Vidic wasn't even shown a yellow card after hauling down Gabriel Agbonlahor to hand Villa the early penalty from which James Milner fired them ahead.

And he stayed on to help the holders recover to notch a 2-1 win with goals from Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Afterwards O'Neill told BBC One: "I think it would be universally accepted they should have been down to 10 men. There's no other decision to make.

"It's not a good decision by an otherwise fine referee. It's the major point of the match.

"In two or three weeks it's forgotten and the trophy's on their mantlepiece, but it's a poor decision."

O'Neill backed his side to recover from the disappointment and book another Wembley date in the FA Cup final.

"It's hard to take," he said. "I thought we played splendidly, particularly in the first half, and got in front.

"Manchester United got the equaliser but at half-time I felt we were very, very capable of winning.

"I'm disappointed for the team but they're resilient, they're strong, they're young and they'll fight back."

He added: "We felt we were capable no matter what side they played. We have to try and get back here again in May because it's a worthwhile journey."