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Martin O'Neill slams Carling Cup Wembley pitch

Martin O'Neill has slammed the state of the Wembley pitch for the Carling Cup final — but it has not lessened the desire of the Aston Villa manager to return to the stadium for the FA Cup final as his side prepare to take on Reading in Sunday's quarter-final.

O'Neill said: “We are going to try to win and get back there, even though the Wembley pitch is not great. It would be fantastic.”

The former Northern Ireland captain is anticipating a tough battle to overcome the Royals who have already disposed of Liverpool and Burnley.

Villa need a result to put the disappointment of Sunday's final defeat behind them.

O'Neill said: “Reading have done very well. Brian McDermott has stepped in there and revitalised them. It is a big occasion for both teams and it will be great if we could be in the semi-final.

“We will be expected to win. I would expect that, but in the FA Cup anyone can be beaten on the day.

“We are going to try and win and the experience of Wembley last week should give you the incentive to get back there.”

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