Cup among O'Neill's priorities - for now

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Martin O'Neill insists the FA Cup is high on his priorities for Aston Villa's season for now - but may change his mind as their Champions League charge progresses.

O'Neill saw his side overcome plucky Coca-Cola League Two side Gillingham in an entertaining third-round tie at Priestfield on Sunday to move into round four for only the second time in the past eight seasons.

"I think that we've gone as strongly as we can. Had Gabby Agbonlahor not taken ill, he was down to play also," said O'Neill who named a strong side for the clash. "We wanted to treat the game properly and treat the competition properly and that's what we've done."

He added: "At this stage, just to try and get through was our priority. If we can continue to make progress in the league, obviously we'll have a look at it, but I felt it was the FA Cup third round, a big day in the calendar, also our UEFA Cup matches are not until mid-February so this was big.

"I'm delighted now that we didn't get beat, that would have been really disappointing."

Manchester United have proven a regular sticking point for Villa in the FA Cup, with the midlands outfit having gone out at the hands of United four times in seven seasons prior to this one and O'Neill was pleased to avoid them in the fourth round.

Instead Villa will face a trip to either League One Cheltenham or Championship Doncaster, who meet next week after their original tie was called off on Saturday due to a frozen pitch at Whaddon Road.

O'Neill added: "I'd like to have been at home. Obviously I'm delighted we've missed out Manchester United, that's good news because they usually turn up and beat us.

"I will get a great opportunity obviously to watch the two teams play because the game has been postponed.

"It'll be another difficult afternoon for us, but if you'd said to me beforehand that we'd be in the hat for the next round, I'd have been delighted to have taken it."

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