Stan Collymore has insisted that Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane should be a regular starter after he helped the club reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Dean Smith’s side hosted an inexperienced Liverpool on Tuesday night in the quarter-finals, as the Reds first-team missed the fixture due to commitment in the Club World Cup this week.
The Midlands club kept it professional to avoid a major upset and reach the last four of the League Cup.
Jonathan Kodjia reminded everyone of his ability with two goals under his belt, while substitute Wesley Moraes also netted late on to boost his own confidence.
Ex-Villa forward Collymore claimed on social media after the cup win that Hourihane needs to be permanent feature in Smith’s XI moving forward in the league.
The 28-year-old midfielder opened the scoring on the night against Liverpool with his free-kick and he now has four in four during this season’s cup competition.
He had a fairly comfortable night against a youthful Liverpool crop, but put in a steady display in the centre of the park.
“Although against a Liverpool 9th string, hopefully Villa hierarchy will see that Conor Hourihane should be one of the first names on the sheet. Not just a very good player but always a consistent pro. Deserves to be in on form ahead of some much more vaunted talent,” Collymore wrote on his personal Twitter account.
Villa’s win on Tuesday night was overshadowed by the level of opposition in front of them, but it’s certainly not their fault and they should be delighted to reach the semi-finals of the cup.
Smith did make wholesale changes to his starting line up too, albeit it was still a group of first-team players facing off against Liverpool’s academy.
Villa have won eight games across all competitions this season and the interesting fact is that Hourihane is started in seven of them.
The left-footed midfielder isn’t a nailed on starter due to the stiff competition in the squad, but he’s looked the part when he’s played this season.