Hat-trick hero John Carew has revealed the determination among the Aston Villa players to make amends for their Carling Cup final heartbreak by achieving FA Cup glory.
Villa looked like they were suffering a hangover from their Wembley defeat against Manchester United a week ago when they trailed 2-0 at half-time in their FA Cup quarter-final at Reading on Sunday.
But Carew led a dramatic turnaround with a splendid treble, after Ashley Young had pulled a goal back within 60 seconds of the restart, as Villa recovered to win 4-2.
Now they face a semi-final meeting with Chelsea, whom they have already beaten at Villa Park in the Premier League this season.
Carew said: "We had a very hard and difficult first half but we managed to come out after the break and lift our game. We had to look at each other in the eyes at half-time and knew we just had to go out in the second half and do better than we did in the first.
"We just seemed a bit surprised by everything. The conditions were a bit difficult and the ball was in the air a lot. We didn't seem to be up for the fight.
"But, in the second half we went out there with more desire, and showed that we really do want to go further in this competition.
"We're really pleased to have a chance to get to another final. We managed to do it in the Carling Cup and now we've got a chance to do the same in another cup. We will do everything we can to get there."
Carew added: "We want to make amends for losing the final and I think we can turn last week into a positive.
"The FA Cup is an even bigger cup, and even more important, so it will be even greater to go all the way in that competition.
"The players will have learnt a lot from last weekend. It was a great experience, the big scene of Wembley, and everything.
"It makes you want more of the same sort of occasion. Everyone dreams of getting to the final again and we've got another chance."
Carew has now scored six goals in the FA Cup this season and his third against the Royals was his fourth from the penalty spot in the competition during the current campaign.
The Norwegian international is determined to end the season on a high after being dogged by injury niggles. He said: "I am just happy to be back after all the small injuries this winter. I want to be important for the team. I've been that lately so I am really happy with that. I don't think any further than that. I just want to play a full part for the team.
"That's also a few penalties I've put away this season now. I am always available to take them if we get them. Thankfully, they have been going in and long may that continue."
The Reading striker Shane Long, who scored both his side's goals, believes the FA Cup has been the catalyst for their revival in the Championship. He said: "It is disappointing to come so close to getting to Wembley after doing so well in the first half and then 10 minutes of madness sees it all slip out of your hands.
"But we can hold our heads high. They are a great side, there is no doubt about that, and I hope they can go on and win the competition.
"We can thank the FA Cup for getting our confidence back up there and turning our league performance around. I don't think you can get too many chances to go to Wembley but now we've got to put it behind us. Aston Villa are a great side and you won't meet many better sides in the country."Reuse content