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Kozak: Competition is good

Libor Kozak believes competition for places is healthy at Aston Villa, as he battles Christian Benteke for a starting berth.

Last Updated: 06/12/13 at 15:00 Post Comment

Libor Kozak: Charged with the task of covering Christian Benteke's loss of f

Libor Kozak: Charged with the task of covering Christian Benteke's loss of f

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Belgian frontman Benteke has suffered a dip in form of late, with Premier League defences more aware of his threat following a standout debut season in English football.

He has gone eight games without finding the target, and has seen a barren spell in the final third cost him his place in Paul Lambert's plans.

Benteke's loss has been Kozak's gain, with the Czech marksman on target during a 3-2 victory over Southampton on Wednesday.

A summer signing from Lazio, Kozak is delighted to have been given his moment in the spotlight, but believes he and Benteke will be given ample opportunity to prove their worth over the course of a testing campaign.

He told the Birmingham Mail on Villa's strike options: "It's a good relationship and I find it good with him.

"It's something for the manager to decide but we'll always look to contribute for the team.

"I am happy the manager trusts me but it's not easy because Christian has scored a lot of goals. Now everyone waits for my goals so I'm happy I'm scoring and we won a difficult game.

"It's not easy when Christian is on the bench, but this is football. He must work to his maximum and on Wednesday it was me, on Sunday it could be him.

"He scored many goals and now I want to score too, but I don't look for this thing all the time, you just want to play well."

Kozak admits he is still getting to grips with life in the Premier League, with greater emphasis being placed on him to aid the collective cause, rather than push for individual glory.

He added: "I feel good, English football is different to Italian but I am adapting to the league and for me it's good. I have to continue to work for better form.

"I am happy with the goal and winning the game on Wednesday. It was a difficult game and I'm happy for the team.

"On Wednesday I played without chances, but after a perfect cross from Karim El Ahmadi it was easy for the goal and it was very good work from him.

"We played well because Gabby (Agbonlahor) held the ball and the midfield came up to us. We worked on it in training and we did it against Southampton."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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