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Carabao Cup

Smith's pride at Wembley Final

The Aston Villa boss will be the first Englishman since Harry Redknapp with Spurs in 2009 to lead out a team in the League Cup Final...

29 February 2020

Dean Smith has spoken of his pride at having the opportunity to lead out his boyhood club at Wembley, with the Carabao Cup Final now just around the corner.

Smith guided Aston Villa to this year's showpiece match at the National Stadium - where they will face holders Manchester on Sunday 1 March - following a dramatic Semi-Final victory over Leicester City.

Speaking ahead of the Final, the Villans boss says he got caught up in the emotion of Trezeguet's last-gasp goal which fired them to Wembley, and is now targeting a sixth League Cup triumph in the club's history.

"I let myself go with the goal, there was a bit of emotion from everybody when that goal went it and the place erupted!" he said.

"I will be a very proud man taking them out at Wembley and, if we could go and win this competition for a sixth time, it would make me a very proud man.

"We’ve got go to Wembley now, it's tough whoever you play, but the lads will certainly be buzzing, and we’re looking forward to it."

Villa suffered a 6-1 defeat against City in league action earlier this season, a result which Smith says was self-inflicted, but he believes his players have shown their qualities ever since.

"We helped them to a 6-1 win, my players know that. But I've had a very good response from my players since then.

"The lads can learn an awful lot playing 180 minutes against the third-best team in the league this season, managing to beat them and go to Wembley. It shows that there's an awful lot of character and quality in the squad.

"To be in the Final means an awful lot."

You can follow coverage of the game on social media via Twitter (@Carabao_Cup), or Facebook and Instagram (@TheCarabaoCup). Kick-off is scheduled for 16:30 GMT.

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