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Tuesday 22 January 2013

Lambert: 'Rocking' Villa Park faithful can sweep us to Wembley

Aston Villa manager insists his side can overturn 3-1 defeat by Bradford in Capital One Cup

  • Bradford's Zavon Hines (left) takes on Fabian Delph of Aston Villa in the first leg

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is confident home support can help his side overhaul their two-goal deficit in against Bradford City in tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.

"They are playing well enough to do it and I know for a fact the stadium will be absolutely bouncing"
Paul Lambert

Villa succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in the away leg after going two goals behind to strikes from Nahki Wells and Rory McArdle and then conceding a late Carl McHugh header, after Andreas Weimann had reduced the arrears with seven minutes remaining.

However, Lambert insists his side can draw encouragement from their display during the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and inspiration from Villa’s home support, as his Barclays Premier League charges seek to avoid the disappointment of missing out on a Wembley appearance at the expense of the fourth-tier Bantams.

"It's well within their capabilities to do it,” Lambert told the club’s official website. “They are playing well enough to do it and I know for a fact the stadium will be absolutely bouncing. It'll be a different ball game from what it was a fortnight ago.

"In a cup game anything can happen, but with a big pitch and a crowd behind us hopefully we will be able to score more than we did up in Bradford. We had a lot of chances up at Bradford. If we can create that amount then we'll be close.

"We've got to take them but there is a lot of confidence about the team at the moment, especially after the first half at West Brom. We should have been out of sight on Saturday. If we do what we've been doing of late, hopefully we will go through.

"My message to the fans is, 'Get right behind us and do what you've been doing.' I can't ask any more because I know the stadium will be absolutely rocking.

"If we get through the confidence will break through. It will be great. The feeling around the club will be massive"
Paul Lambert

"We'll be ready for this. We know we have to come out the traps really quickly. It will be a terrific occasion for everyone. If we get through the confidence will break through.”

Villa are expected to have midfielder Fabian Delph and goalkeeper Shay Given available, provided they shake off respective ankle and hamstring problems, while Weimann is back after missing the West Brom match through illness, but defender Nathan Baker, who limped off at The Hawthorns with a hamstrng problem, looks set to miss out.

On Wednesday night Swansea City will be hoping to mark their centenary year in style by reaching their first major final. Michael Laudrup's side beat Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg of the other Capital One Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge.

Capital One Cup semi-finals

Second legs
Tuesday 22 January

Aston Villa v Bradford City, 7.45pm (Bradford lead 3-1 on agg.)

Wednesday 23 January
Swansea City v Chelsea, 7.45pm (Swansea lead 2-0 on agg.)

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Key Points

  • Aston Villa must overcome two-goal deficit to Bradford City in Capital One Cup semi-final, second leg
  • Manager Paul Lambert confident side can recover at Villa Park
  • Winners will play Swansea City or Chelsea in final at Wembley Stadium on 24 February