Carling Cup Final interview with John Carew

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‘John Carew, Carew, he’s bigger than me or you, he’s going to score one or two, John Carew, Carew’ (Sung to the tune of Que Sera Sera).

Villa fans hope they will be singing John Carew’s theme tune Wembley as they prepare for their biggest match in a decade. Manchester United are their opponents in the Carling Cup final on Sunday, which is their first major final since 2000.

It is the next stage in their long rebuilding process under Martin O’Neill that has seen finishes of tenth, sixth and sixth in the last three seasons but now the aim is to add some silverware. The Second city club are also in the quarter finals of the FA Cup and in the contention for a top four finish and claiming that elusive Champions League position they so crave.

Anyway, moving back to Carew and he certainly scored two on Wednesday evening as Villa saw off Crystal Palace 3-1 in the FA Cup fifth round replay. The towering Norwegian striker can be almost unplayable on his day but has been hampered by injuries this term as he battles for a starting spot with Emile Heskey. Nevertheless, the 30-year-old is fighting fit and ready to stake a claim for Sunday’s sell out showpiece occasion at Wembley.

How is your current fitness ahead of the Carling Cup final?

I've been injured and I've been working really hard to get back in shape and against Palace I felt really good - even after the game. My legs felt light. I feel I'm starting to reach my peak form again. I really needed that game to get the last bit of fitness back after a couple of setbacks. I want to be available for the team again and 100 per cent fit.

You will be the underdogs on the day – do you believe you can win?

In the league, we have taken four points off United so we know we have the possibility to get something out of it. We are going there planning to enjoy the moment, play good football and try to make it a great day in Villa's history. That would be fantastic. To win the cup would be unbelievable. Both teams will want to win it but we have to be confident and we don't have to be scared that we can't compete with Manchester United.

Is this the next stage in Villa’s re-building process under Martin O’Neill?

We have been getting better and better in the league over the last three or four years, which is important, but it's also important to get to cup finals. You really feel you are arriving. It gives even more edge to the feeling you are getting somewhere. It is not many times in your life that you get an opportunity to play in a game in front of 80-90,000 people. We must enjoy the moment and be confident we can win.

Are you confident after beating Burnley and Crystal Palace in the last week and racking up eight goals in the process?

Does it give us confidence for Sunday? Absolutely. We had a great game at the weekend by beating Burnley 5-2 and we have to continue that into this game. This is a really important stage of the season. We are in two cups still and it's great for the club. We have reached one final and we can reach another final. It means so much to the fans and the club; it is a chance for us to make history.

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John Carew
League Cup
Aston Villa

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