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MIKAEL: I'M A VILLA FAN; EXCLUSIVE They play game the right way BATTLE OF BRUM ++ DERBY DAY SPECIAL.

Byline: BY ANDY WALKER

BLUES hotshot Mikael Forssell believes every Premier League team should play the Villa way.

As the flying Finn aims to find the net in the Second City derby today, he has revealed his admiration for Martin O'Neill's men.

Villa's style of football under the Northern Irishman has attracted plenty of plaudits this season and Forssell has brushed aside local rivalry to admit that he's also a big fan.

"I think they have got a solid back four with a very strong central defence in every way and if you look forward from there, their midfielders, especially the wide players, and the strikers all want to bomb forward," said Forssell, who is confident of shaking off an ankle knock for today's match.

"But because they are so mobile they obviously get back into their shape very quickly.

"This is how I think football should be played in the Premier League. They are a good example and they have done really well.

"They break forward very quickly, counter-attack all the time but if they don't have an end product then they get back quickly.

"I think we need to be careful because we have to improve our game to match that."

Forssell, 27, has been involved in five Brum derbies since arriving at Blues from Chelsea in August 2003.

And the striker has scored in two of those crunch encounters - the 2-1 defeat at St Andrew's on Remembrance Day and the thrilling 2-2 draw at Villa Park in 2004.

Forssell hasn't forgotten Blues' last trip to Villa Park, a 3-1 defeat that helped send them down, but insists the mood in the camp is different this time around.

"You can actually see people being very positive and the mood which the manager sets for us after games, even if results haven't gone our way, is still positive," he said.

"We know that this team is good enough to stay up. That's why there isn't much concern in the camp. We know that it is still in our hands."

MAURO'S READY - P64-65

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FORSS-FUL: Mikael Forssell admires Villa's attacking flair
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2008
Words:352
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