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Nice to see you, to see you

After three straight wins in the league have seen Paul Cook's men head to the top of the League One table, attention once again turns to The Carabao Cup and a second round trip to Villa Park to face Championship side Aston Villa.

Paul Cook has certainly won fans over early into his reign with the level of performances shown in rather comfortable wins over Milton Keynes, Bury and Oldham but the display against Blackpool in round one of this competition wasn't the greatest and on another night we could quite well be having a rest tomorrow.  Owen Evans made his debut against the Tangerines and was superb on a night where he was unlucky not to finish with a clean sheet.  He may find himself out of the side tomorrow night though as Jamie Jones has taken his place on the bench since his move to the club on a free transfer and looks like he is to be Cook's number.  I don't think we will see Christian Walton between the sticks though so it will be between Evans and Jones to don the gloves.

The rest of the side will more than likely look a shadow of the one that toyed with Oldham at the weekend and another eleven changes may well happen as they did in round one.  Normally I would have an issue with that and push to keep a winning side together as Paul Jewell did in 2002 when we beat West Brom, Fulham and Manchester City in this very competition, but the tempo that Cook has had us playing with lends itself to needing to rest players whenever and wherever possible and a 'cup side' for this and next weeks Checkatrade Trophy is fine by me.  As well as giving the likes of Nick Powell, Michael Jacobs and Lee Evans a break it also gives Will Grigg, Ryan Colclough and Alex Gilbey a chance to keep themselves fit and show why they should be in the starting XI.  At the moment we have a talented, competitive squad and competition for places can only be a good thing at this stage as we look to take control of League One and show the other 23 sides that we mean business.

A win here would really keep the positive vibe around the place that has been building since that opening day win at Stadium:MK but the result is not the key outcome here.  This is a competition that we have little to no chance of winning and so I would be more than happy with another 90 minutes under the belt of the fringe players, a battling display that allows them to leave with their heads high and gives them plenty of confidence to go and beat Blackpool next week if Cook employs the same tactics in that competition as he has in this.  A league and Football League Trophy double would certainly be a great first season in charge and is certainly well within our capabilities if we use our squad to its potential.  It would be great to get one over Steve Bruce though.

Aston Villa

After struggling to adapt to life in the second tier last season and seeing fellow relegated side Newcastle lift the title, Villa fans have been thinking that this is their year to head back to the top flight and with the signing of John Terry in the summer they certainly signalled their intent.  A poor start though with two defeats from their opening three games saw the pressure already heaped on Steve Bruce who was thankful for his sides 4-2 win over Norwich at the weekend more than most would be just four games into the new campaign. The quality of squad that The Villains possess though should see them at the right end of the table come the end of the season, and with promotion their sole aim it could be a slightly different XI that we see tomorrow night at Villa Park than the Holte End faithful, well those that still bother to turn up, cheered to victory against  Norwich.

ASTON VILLA - THE STORY SO FAR 

Championship

P 4
W 1
D 1
L 2
F 6
A 8
GD -2
Pts 4

Pos 16th

Last Game: v Norwich W 4-2

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