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From Brad to good the Villa aim

27 August 2013

Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan is determined to prevent Rotherham from repeating last season’s Capital One Cup shock handed to Villa by Bradford

Aston Villa will be aiming to put behind them last season’s shock Capital One Cup semi-final defeat by Bradford City when they step out to face Rotherham United at Villa Park for Wednesday evening’s Round 2 tie.

Premier League Villa lost 4-3 on aggregate over two dramatic legs of the semi against Bradford, now a Sky Bet League 1 club but last term in League 2.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan watched from the bench in both legs as his fellow keeper Shay Given had to pick the ball out of the net four times. 

But American Guzan, now the club’s first choice number one, will be between the sticks on Wednesday night and will be out to ensure that this time Villa go through – and preferably with a clean sheet. 

“What happened last season when we lost to Bradford is in the past,” said Guzan. “That was last season and now we have a new group of guys here at Villa Park. 

“So it’s a case of looking forward and approaching the game with the right mentality. Hopefully, we can get a win against Rotherham and put ourselves into the next round and then go on a good run. 

“But we know that we have to approach it in the right way and make sure that we do the business. Playing in any competition you want to do well and win it, but we know it’s a long road and this is just the beginning for us.”

The beginning of The Football League Cup is perhaps something Villa could take inspiration from. Embarrassing though last year’s exit was, the midland club have a tremendous record in the competition dating back to its first season. 

That was the 1960/61 campaign, when ironically they won the final – which in the early days, like the current semi, was played over two legs – 5-0 on aggregate against Rotherham United. And Villa have now lifted the League Cup five times, a record only bettered by eight-time winners Liverpool.

By contrast, that first final was the only one that Rotherham have reached. But manager Steve Evans believes that his team can progress towards a Wembley date, as Bradford City did last season, by beating Villa.

The Sky Bet League 1 Millers produced a Capital One Cup shock result with a 2-1 First Round win in their local derby tie against Championship team Sheffield Wednesday; and now Evans is aiming to make it a double whammy at Villa Park.

“Villa won’t want to lose to a lower league club after what happened against Bradford,” he said, “but I think we can go there and get a result. If we play as well as we did against Sheffield Wednesday then we’ll certainly be in with a chance.”

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