Ron Vlaar says Aston Villa must pull together if they are to shock Manchester City

 

Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar has issued a rallying call and challenged his side to pull together if they are to beat Manchester City in tonight's Capital One Cup match at the Etihad Stadium.

Villa approach the game on the back of a disappointing 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to Southampton on Saturday and are still yet to win away from home this season.

But Holland international Vlaar has called for Paul Lambert's men to put the weekend's frustrations behind them and focus on finding some form as quickly as possible, starting tonight in Manchester.

Vlaar told the club's official website: "We have to stay strong now and we have another game which we need to prepare for.

"Of course, it is going to be a difficult game but every game is difficult. We will go and try to win the game.

"We can play well as a team, we know this, but we didn't do it in the second half against Southampton and that's disappointing for everybody - the players, the manager, the coaching staff, and of course, our fans.

"Everybody wants to do better and I hope we can show this in the way we play against Manchester City."

Lambert's side could be weakened as the Villa boss waits to hear news about midfielder Stephen Ireland's suspected broken arm.

The former Manchester City player could miss out on a return to the Etihad Stadium after he came off at half-time on Saturday.

Chris Herd and Fabian Delph are both available after injuries and could feature but it could still be a game too soon for Marc Albrighton (foot), while Richard Dunne (groin) and Gary Gardner (ligaments) are long-term absentees.

Roberto Mancini looks set to make wholesale changes to his City side after Sunday's hard-fought 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal, which followed on from a breathless Champions League clash against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last Tuesday.

Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli are likely to lead the line while youngsters Denis Suarez, Abdul Razak and Luca Scapuzzi will be in the squad.

Villa defender Joe Bennett, who made his debut from the bench in Saturday's defeat at St Mary's, believes the pressure will be off his side in tonight's match.

"We have the character to bounce back from this, definitely," Bennett told AVTV.

"We have the cup game at Manchester City. It's good to get a game so quickly to put things right. We want to learn from what's happened and move on quickly.

"You're going to have ups and downs in football, that's part of the game. We're disappointed now but we plan to move on quickly. We're going to the Etihad and not many people are expecting us to win. That can be a good thing.

"That can help, when you don't have pressure on you. Hopefully we can go there and do a really good job.

"They have a big, strong squad and I think whoever plays will be of high quality. We have to match them and show the travelling fans we can get a result."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...