Club News

Gera's got unfinished derby business

And midfielder thinks back to classic Villa Park moment

ZOLTAN Gera is determined to help his team-mates make up for letting Villa off the hook in the first meeting between the two sides earlier this season.

The Baggies stormed into a 2-0 lead in November’s Hawthorns encounter before Stephane Sessegnon missed a golden opportunity to make it three before half-time.

The hosts paid the price as Paul Lambert’s men came back to steal a point in a 2-2 draw.

And Gera is now hoping Albion can pull off a Villa Park victory and leapfrog their near neighbours in the Barclays Premier League table.

“They responded well in the second half,” said the Hungary international.

“But we had the chances to kill the game.

“We need to make up for that.

“They are a good counter-attack team so we need to be careful of that.

“They have added some experienced players in this window.

“It is going to be a big game for both teams.”

Gera played in the corresponding fixture last term when the Baggies were just ten minutes away from victory before Darren Bent scored to rescue a point for the hosts.

But the Hungary international’s most memorable Villa Park derby remains the 1-1 draw in the 2004/05 ‘Great Escape’ campaign, when Paul Robinson levelled at the death for the Baggies.

“Last season we drew there after controlling the game for a long spell,” he added.

“The atmosphere was very good and as a player you want to be part of these games.

“The game during the ‘Great Escape’ season was a special day and a huge draw that felt like a win.”