Ex-Villan Dwight Yorke in recent seasons has made some dubious claims about wanting to be the next Villa boss. While it’s hard to take them seriously, due to his lack of management experience, he was part of a Sunderland team that bounced back after finishing bottom in the Premier League on 15 points to be Championship champions the following season. So, MOMS’ Ashley Preece caught up with him to talk about his views on his old team, Villa’s current Championship plight.
‘If you say it’s tough then it’s going to be tough isn’t it?…I thought it was very easy” – Yorke on the Championship
DWIGHT YORKE says it breaks his heart to see Aston Villa in the Championship, a league he believes is “very easy”.
The former Villa Park hero has put the club’s failings down to a “negative mentality”, calling the toughness of the second tier a myth and that players now need to “stand up”.
“I played in the Championship for six months,” said Yorke, “and I thought it was very easy.
“People are talking about this mentality – if you say it’s tough then it’s going to be tough isn’t it?
“I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park, I’m not saying that at all but I don’t like that mentality.”
Yorke, speaking at The Belfry ahead of this weekend’s Ryder Cup-style Icons of Football golf tournament, scored 70 goals for Villa over 10 seasons, won the Championship with Sunderland back in 2007 and says Villa should look to emulate Black Cats’ North East rivals Newcastle.
“We cruised that league,” he said. “There’s people that say it’s tough, I get that with the amount of games and this, that and the other.
“But you look at Newcastle, when they came down, they were one of the favourites to come back up but Villa weren’t really.
“Why is that? Because Newcastle were talking about the fact that they are going to get promoted.
“Villa, in other words, was all about the doom and gloom. Who wants to be in that position?
“I just found it really sickening to hear that stuff but everyone is different.
“When you’ve got that kind of negative mentality flying around you’re always likely to get negative results.
“Villa should not be where they are.
“Everyone knows how passionate I am about that club, a club that was dear to my heart for 10 years.
“To see where they are is very heart-breaking in many respects and, the longer they leave it until they get promotion, the more difficult it becomes.
“They got their sabbatical in terms of experience from the Championship, but who wants to be there?
“Villa, the history behind that football club and the stadium, the fan base that they have got, they should never be in that position and hopefully that will be a learning curve.
“However, at the end of it and the reality of it, they are in that position and they need to get themselves back into the Premier League and they need to do it asap in terms of this season, without a doubt.”
Yorke, meanwhile, is backing manager Steve Bruce to come good.
When asked if Bruce was the right man for the job, Yorke said: “I’d like to think so. He’s got a great deal of experience.
“I have no problem with Bruce being manager there, just look at his record at that level in terms of getting clubs promoted.
“He’s done it time and time again and I think that he’s the man to get the job done.
“But, at the end of the day, experience can only take you for so long. The players need to be stand up and take care and make sure they get back their passion of playing football.
“People forget how to play football and there’s too many other bits going on. Just go and play the game, that’s what you want to do.”
Yorke also said that his former club “have got enough in the locker to do well”, backing Villa’s recent recruitment policy.
The Trinidadian added: “Listen, Villa are massive and they’ve spent a lot of money in terms of their attacking players.
“Their recruitment in terms of what they do is up to them but these players have got enough in the locker to do well.
“I just don’t understand how, even to this day, I’m talking about Villa in this position.”
The 45-year-old also confirmed that he recently applied for the vacant manager’s position at Sunderland, securing initial talks with the club’s hierarchy but failed to secure a formal interview.
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