Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill believes reaching the Carling Cup final will lift the club's global profile.

O'Neill has won the League Cup as a player at Nottingham Forest and as a manager at Leicester. And he knows how the glint of silver can leave a permanent sparkle on a club.

Villa head to Blackburn tonight for the first leg of their Carling Cup semi. And O'Neill said: "For a football club of this standing, it would be fantastic to win it. We should be contesting more semi-finals - and finals if it's at all possible.

"In terms of it being essential to win, the club will survive without winning but it'd still be very good.

"The winning of trophies gives a football club renewed status and a confidence to go and compete again."