Ex Celtic star on ‘astronomical’ gap between Scottish and English clubs as Aston Villa hammer Hibs

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Hibernian goalkeeper David Marshall had a tough day at the office on Wednesday evening against Aston Villa.

Former Celtic star and current Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall has lamented the 'astronomical' gap between Scottish and English club after Aston Villa thumped the Edinburgh side 5-0 on Wednesday night.

The Europe Conference League meeting proved a one-sided affair as Unai Emery's side romped to victory and after the fixture Marshall gave a candid take on the difference between the two sides.

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When asked about the contrast in investment, Marshall said: "It's a difficult question to answer. The budget between us and Aston Villa is astronomical.

"We understand that over the course of two legs they are a far stronger team and squad and should be. The money dictates that gap.

"We were just disappointed in the 90 minutes tonight that we never really gave our fans anything to shout about or get behind us.

"I thought Aston Villa played really well. Off the ball as well they were really good as and limited us to zero chances really. So fair play."

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Hibs travel to Villa Park next week for the second leg of the fixture but will have to overturn the 5-0 deficit to progress in Europe. Marshall, who made 44 appearances for Celtic and won a Premiership title in 2004, saw Ollie Watkins put a hat-trick past him with Leon Bailey and Douglas Luiz also finding the back of the net.

Villa have spent nearly £80 million this summer on stars including Moussa Diaby and Pau Torres while Hibs have invested just over £6 million on new arrivals.

Ollie Watkins scored against David Marshall (Image: Getty Images)Ollie Watkins scored against David Marshall (Image: Getty Images)
Ollie Watkins scored against David Marshall (Image: Getty Images)

Speaking after the match, hibs manager Lee Johnson said: “I think we have a really good, honest bunch of players. I trust them and they give their all every day.

“There is a difference. Premier League players now are almost superhuman in their athleticism. It’s the super-elite from all over the world and that’s what you get. It was a good experience, and I don’t think it will affect confidence going into the Livingston game. But the physical recovery is key for us because we are a team that needs to use our running power and our physicality at our level to maximise our performances.

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“I’m still proud of the club for being at this level on this stage. The reality is we have an English League One budget against a fantastic multi-international standard Aston Villa.

“It was clear there was a gulf in class, I can’t deny that. At half-time we wanted to salvage some pride and look like we were going to go and win the half. We started it pretty well and got behind them, but that’s the difference – one break, one poor positional error, one quality pass and a great finish.

“Having played against Premier League teams in the past, you cannot make positional errors because they’re punished. So I hope this experience is a good one, because your lessons can become your teacher. We can grow from having felt the quality of the athleticism, the touch and the tactical work that Villa did tonight.”

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