Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday November 29 2005
Villa travel to League One side Doncaster on a mini revival. Well, we've won two games on the trot for the first time in 12 months anyway!
Doncaster aren't pushovers though, they have already dispatched Manchester City from the competition and will be up for the battle tonight.
Central Defender Liam Ridgewell has warned: 'They are not to be under-estimated' and says that 'They beat Manchester City and they are a good side. Some people are already talking about the quarter-finals and that can sometimes work against you if you look too far ahead. We are just concentrating on the Doncaster game and then whatever happens, happens.'
Assistant manager Roy Aitkin said: 'The players are hungry for success here. We spoke at the start of the season about wanting to win a cup and aiming to get into Europe. Nothing has changed. We've not had the best of starts, but we're starting to get a settled side now, with competition for places.' Adding: 'We won't show any complacency. We know it's going to be a tough match. Doncaster have had a good run recently and are climbing their own league. We know they have taken a big scalp already this season.'
Olof Mellberg says: 'It is a chance for us. It looks difficult to go into Europe through the league. The Carling Cup is a big opportunity for us together with the FA Cup. The manager is looking to play the strongest side and try to get into a final.'
Doncaster chairman John Ryan has predicted another big scalp: 'Personally, I think we will beat Villa. Don't ask me why but I just believe it will happen. I believe some things are written in the Gods and I honestly think we are destined to win this game. They are the favourites and people are predicting a 3-0 win for them, but we've some good, experienced players and can give them a good game.'
Rovers manager Dave Penny isn't like to make many/any changes to the team who beat Bristol City at the weekend although Jan Budtz, who was the penalty shoot out hero for Doncaster in the last round, might replace Dino Seremet. Barry Richardson is still out following his leg break.
This won't be about individuals, it will be about the team stopping Villa from playing their passing game. If they give Villa time, they will be punished.
Bouma is a doubt for the left back spot having injured his toe, Jlloyd being the most obvious replacement. Berger and Delaney are both still out of contention. Sky Sports suggest Hendrie and Angel could feature with O'Leary choosing to 'shuffle his pack'. (Or is that his honest pack?!) O'Leary has confirmed Angel is in the side and he is expecting goals. 'he's in against Doncaster in what is an important cup tie for us, so let's see what he does. We expect goals from Angel, that's what he has done for us in the past, and if he does it again, Angel will be in the team.' Midfielder Bakke can't feature due to a term Leeds had put in his loan deal.
Been in fabulous form, can he add to his goal tally?
Rovers are on a great run of form with just one loss in their last 10 games at Belle View. Dave Penney's team beat Manchester City in a penalty shoot out in the last round.
Villa have had an indifferent start to the season with just four wins in fourteen league games.
The last game between the two teams was at Doncaster in March 1971 where Villa lost 2-1 in the old Third Division.
Tough cup tie but Mystic Mug is confident that Villa know what is at stake and will go to Belle View and battle. Away win in a scrappy affair. 1-0
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Date:Tuesday November 29 2005
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