TOWN v VILLA: 'We can live up to the giant-killer tag,' insists McCormack (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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TOWN v VILLA: 'We can live up to the giant-killer tag,' insists McCormack
CAPTAIN Alan McCormack believes Swindon’s extraordinary cup record against higher division opposition will not put them under any extra pressure when face Aston Villa this evening.
Town have knocked eight higher-ranked teams out of cup competitions in the last 15 months under the guidance of manager Paolo Di Canio, and will be looking to add to their tally against the men from Villa Park in tonight’s fourth round tie.
But while McCormack is proud of his side’s recent cup record, the Irishman doesn’t think the Town squad will get carried away by their success.
“It will be a good game, an exciting game and an open game, because we have been a counter attacking side this year and we have shown that when we go at teams we can open them up,” he said.
“We have beaten Stoke, Burnley and Brighton, teams in leagues above us, and hopefully we can do it again.
“The cups have been pretty good for us over the last year or so, and we have proven we are capable of playing well in all competitions.
“Last year we went out of the League Cup pretty early, but apart from that we went quite far in the others, and the boys are thriving on the underdog status we seem to get against the top sides.
“It spurs you on in cup games where you go in there with nothing to lose, and you find that extra 10 and 20 per cent.
“We will go into it under no pressure whatsoever, and if we lose we were not expected to win anyway, and if we go out and win it will be amazing. It is a game against a Premier League side we don’t get to play every week, and we have to enjoy it and hopefully get the win.
“If you go in thinking you can win it you can sometimes think beyond it, and you don’t concentrate on what you are doing during the game and you can make silly mistakes which cost you.
“We have to concentrate on our own individual games and getting things right, and then work to push forward and defend as a team because you can’t win it yourself.”
Villa have endured a difficult start to life under new manager Paul Lambert, but McCormack believes they should not underestimate the Premier League side and knows Town are going to need to be at their best to progress.
“The gaffer goes into great detail before every game, whether it is a non-league side in pre-season or a Premier League team in the cup, he looks at every aspect of the game, looks at all their weaknesses and fault, and we did it at Stoke and it paid off,” he said, “If we can do that against Villa then I think we will have a good chance.
“The manager has shown us a lot of clips of them on the ball and off the ball, and them as individuals, and it is a Premier League side and you can’t take that away from them.
“They have not started too well in the league this season, but they have some quality players and we have to go out there and show them our quality too.”