Rovers could take brunt of Villa frustrations

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is looking for his players to take out their recent frustrations on Blackburn tonight and close in on a Carling Cup final place at Wembley.

O'Neill's stars have been left kicking their heels for the last 12 days since beating Blackburn in the third round of the FA Cup. The winter weather that has gripped the country put paid to the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final with Rovers last Tuesday and then Saturday's league game at Wigan.

"Because there have been almost universal postponements, I don't think it's as big a problem as you might imagine," said O'Neill.

"Yes, we've a couple of league cup semi-finals to play, and they have to be played midweek, and they're an extra couple of games."

He added: "But they're an extra couple of games we're delighted to be playing in.

"So overall, it's been frustrating, the frustration stemming from the fact we've travelled overnight to our last two games, and both have been called off the next day.

"However, that's the nature of things, and you just get on with it.

"If we had known the games were going to be called off then you could almost have treated it like a mini break.

"But because you've prepared for something, expecting it to happen and then it doesn't materialise, I don't consider it as a break as such.

"Therefore it's not the same as if you've gone away to Dubai or something like that for a couple of days.

"If you've had the luxury of doing that, then well done. That's what I would call a proper break. But now we've got these two games - hopefully. We've gone this far and we're going to try and put everything into them."

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