Dean Smith has revealed that he hopes to use the 1996 League Cup win for Aston Villa as inspiration for his players, ahead of their clash with Man City tomorrow.
The Villans won the trophy just under 25 years ago when goals from Savo Milosevic, Ian Taylor, and Dwight Yorke sealed a 3-0 win over Leeds.
And current Villa boss – and lifelong fan – Smith, is hoping to channel some of that feeling and inspire his players ahead of the clash with City.
“The players will be relaxed and focused, I’ll be giving some reminders of what it takes to win cup finals and some reminders of the history of the club,” Smith said. (Express and Star)
“There will be something from myself, some visuals, some video clips and stuff on our previous League Cup wins.”
Villa have won the League Cup an impressive five times in their history. The last, coincidentally, coming in that 1996 Wembley win over Leeds.
Drawing on experience
Despite struggling in the Premier League, Villa’s cup run has been impressive. They have scored 19 times in the competition and impressively saw off Leicester in the semi-final.
And Smith has explained how he’ll also lean on the experience of assistant, John Terry, who won the trophy more than once with Chelsea.
“I’ve used John as a pointer to the players very often in this competition, and how much it meant to him to lift a trophy,” Smith added.
“He openly talks about the need to go and win trophies and finals, winning that play-off final last season has given us that appetite for more, that’s why we’ve probably been frustrated by our league position.”
All to play for at Wembley – TBR View
On paper, it looks like Man City will stroll out comfortable winners. But Villa have reason to believe they can snatch the trophy.
City will, of course, be desperate to win. Their Premier League title hopes have gone so adding silverware is the next best thing for them.
But Dean Smith and Villa can go in with confidence. They can draw on their last experience at Wembley as a positive one less than 9 months ago. That will surely help them along.
Furthermore, they go in as underdogs. City have been here before and we all saw what Wigan Athletic did to them that day.