As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Big Ron on Cup final: Aston Villa must get ugly against Man City

Former Aston Villa boss Ron Atkinson says Dean Smith's team need to be physical against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.

Atkinson said it's crucial Villa get amongst them and, to some extent, play ugly.

"If Villa are prepared to make it 'attritional'," he told BirminghamLive, "to accept the fact if they try to make it a classic football match to out-football City they'll be, for me, committing suicide. They've got to make it ugly if you like; frustrate, annoy, play it to the front, bounce it past the strikers, get the strikers running down the channels, turning people like Otamendi.

"The fact they play their full-backs so far ahead, too. They would have a chance. If they start to shove it in midfield and play little bitty balls, they'll get picked off. Aguero, give him any sort of chance, he'll tuck it away."

And his message to Villa's players: "Go out and go out with a view to win. You go to Wembley to win. I know people say ah, it's a day out. It's not, it's a day of glory. You win. If you don't and give your best, you can't do anything more.

"They have a chance, it's a fighting chance and that's got to be the operative word. At Wembley you never know, there's been upsets. I do hope they make it very, very attritional and, for me, that's the best way of them getting a result."

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free