Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is refusing to treat his side's Carling Cup quarter-final home clash with Aston Villa as just a break from their Premier League relegation fight.

Although the Fratton Park side are currently seven points adrift of safety, they have shone away from the pressures of league matches. They thrashed Hereford 4-1 in the Carling Cup second round, before winning 3-1 at Carlisle in the third and dismantling Stoke 4-0 at home to set up a date with Villa.

"Everybody says there's the league, then the FA Cup and the Carling Cup. But I think that when you come into a game, you need to want to win - even if it's a friendly game. It doesn't matter if it is football, tennis or golf; you want to win," said Grant.

"To say the players will play without pressure is like saying Van Gogh will paint without the colours.

"Pressure is the name of the game and it's good that they know there is pressure.

"Sports push you to be the best and be at the top. You try to use the pressure to be better."

When asked whether he could lead Portsmouth into the final, Grant said: "First I am dreaming to stay in the league. Then we will see."

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Stoke City
Football
League Cup
Premier League
Hereford United
Carlisle United
Aston Villa
FA Cup