Pre-Semi Final Build Up And Quotes
Lots of talk about the Carling Cup and the semi final v Blackburn Rovers hopefully starting tomorrow night weather permitting (I believe it is better up t'north so should be ok unless the official site tells us otherwise!)
James Milner says that getting to Wembley is a massive incentive: Eyes On The Prize
Meanwhile former Villa striker and Blackburn Rovers legend Chris Sutton has spoken to the official site about the battle between the clubs, saying that although Blackburn won't be pushovers, he does think Villa are favourites over the two legs: Sutton Favours Villa To Scratch Cup Itch
What else have we? Oh yes, don't forget the competition to win one of only 500 limited edition Carling Cup final replica balls: **WIN Ltd Ed. Carling Cup Final Replica Ball**
Meanwhile Villa defender Richard Dunne says that a win in the Carling Cup could help Villa attract more top quality players to Villa Park. He said at www.skysports.com 'The ambition of every footballer throughout their career is to win something. For the young lads here, the more they can win at a younger age, the more experience and the more hunger it will give them to win more.' He also says once you get one bit of silverware it can lead to confidence with more to follow. 'if we achieve that, players who probably wouldn't want to come to Aston Villa previously will start looking at us as a successful side where the top players can come and win stuff.' Full interview: www.skysports.com
Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov says that Villa have got the strength in the team to cope with the pressure of the semi finals: 'It is a semi-final a lot of people have been waiting for and we didn't have chance to start playing it last week, but it is coming up now. We are all looking forward to it, the fans are looking forward to it as well and I hope overall after the two games we will be the ones that go to the final.'
The official site have an interview with Steve Guppy who hopes Villa 'wing' their way to the Carling Cup final because of their refreshing attacking approach. Villa's former nemesis is now a firm admirer of the claret and blue troops and regularly comes to see them in action.: www.avfc.co.uk
New winger Stewart Downing warns that despite the draw being kind giving us the home game last we still have to get out there and win. He told avfc.co.uk 'The Carling Cup is the only major trophy I've won. It's a good competition and it gets you in Europe. We played Arsenal in the semi-final of that and I think we won 1-0 away and 2-1 at home. I don't know whether it makes much difference playing the second leg at home. Some people may say that but either way you've still got to play the games. It's going to be tough.'
Martin O'Neill insists Villa will 'give it absolutely everything' as they look to get the better of Blackburn in the Carling Cup semi-finals. The manager accepts the Premier League is the 'holy grail' in football now but believes contesting strongly in the cup competitions is still massively important in the modern game. Full preview by the gaffer: www.avfc.co.uk