Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Villa set to strike it hot

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill

Curtis Davies believes Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill will be spoilt for choice in terms of attacking options after the return of John Carew and Ashley Young.

Carew made his comeback from a back injury, after a two and a half month lay-off, as a substitute in Saturday’s home Barclays Premier League clash with Wigan.

O’Neill has confirmed the Norway international will start tonight’s FA Cup fourth round replay with Doncaster at Villa Park.

Young is available after a three-game suspension following his sending-off against Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light.

The duo will supplement January signing Emile Heskey plus Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner in giving Villa the ammunition to unlock most defences.

Davies said: "Ashley is a massive player for us. He is one of our key players who creates so many opportunities and to have him back will be good for us.

"It’s the same with John Carew and, in the 20-30 minutes when he was on the pitch against Wigan, he did make the difference.

"I think once he is back fully fit and he is in the starting line-up, he will do well for us.

"There is so much competition up front now and, if anything, it is going to keep everyone on their toes and hopefully that will bring the best out of all of them.

"I wouldn’t like to be the manager at the moment making those decisions."

Davies is aware of the potential of an upset awaiting Villa against their Yorkshire opponents after the sides shared a goalless draw at the Keepmoat Stadium.

He is not even thinking about meeting either Liverpool or Everton in the next round.

He said: "It is a massive chance but it is going to be hard because, at their place, they played a lot of good football and made it really hard for us.

"Sometimes teams can rise to playing at places like Villa Park. Our fans might get a bit upset if we are 0-0 after 30 minutes and then you never know what could happen.

"You only need a slight deflection or a mis-kick and, all of a sudden, someone could be in and then it’s backs to the walls with them trying to hold on.

"But we’ve got to be positive and do what we’ve been doing for the last three months and just keep our form going, and hopefully we will get the win.

"We are going to be struggling with our legs a little bit but I guess they will as well because they have had a few games so it will be interesting to see whether we put out a full strength team or whatever.

"But, if we come through this, we’ve got a big game against one of the Merseyside clubs and if you win those games, maybe you deserve to go on and win the cup."

Doncaster go into the tie with no new injury concerns, but manager Sean O’Driscoll may make a number of changes, as he has in Rovers’ last two Coca-Cola Championship fixtures.

New signing, Northern Ireland international Dean Shiels is ineligible for the match.

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