It was not quite consolation for going out of the FA Cup but Peter Taylor could at least reflect that the Villa quartet who did most to defeat his Hull side are players in whose development he has played a key role.
Lee Hendrie, Luke Moore, Gareth Barry and James Milner have all come under Taylor's wing during his spells as England's Under-21 coach and his enjoyment at watching their skills at the KC Stadium was marred only by Barry's second-half goal.
Taylor was happy to deliver words of endorsement and encouragement, particularly in respect of Barry and Milner, whose command of the left flank most influenced the result.
Milner, whose season-long loan to Villa must be hard to swallow at Newcastle, was a constant source of torment, prompting Taylor to speak of almost limitless potential for the 20-year-old. For Barry, meanwhile, he offered hope.
The 24-year-old, who won a record 27 Under-21 caps, is the left-sided midfielder Sven Goran Eriksson forgot but even though it is two and a half years since he won his eighth cap, Taylor believes he can revive his England career.
"He has plenty of time," he said. "Jamie Carragher never got into the senior side straight away. He just kept fighting away and doing well for Liverpool. I think Gareth can do exactly the same."
Barry's favoured position at Villa is currently occupied by Milner, who Taylor says "is going to be some player once he gets more end product into his game", but an injury to the left-back Wilfred Bouma has allowed him to form a partnership with Milner that might yet be to his own benefit.
"It has been great playing behind James," he said. "He is the type of player who, if you can get the ball to his feet, you can watch showing off his skills. I'm sure Newcastle would have had him back if they could.
"As for England, I'm still hoping because I'm only 24. Given that I haven't been called up for so long, maybe a change of manager might help me but it is my form for Villa that really dictates my chance.
"I prefer to be in midfield but I try to do my best in whatever position I'm picked and I feel I have been consistent enough."
Barry's fourth goal of the season came with a deflected shot at the end of a run from inside his own half. Hull's defender Leon Cort had a header cleared off the line by Hendrie but a repeat of Villa's Carling Cup catastrophe at Doncaster was never threatened.
Goal: Barry (61) 0-1.
Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; France, Cort, Collins, Dawson (Lynch, 28); Price, Andrews, Delaney, Ellison (Elliott, 45); Paynter (Green, 69), Fagan. Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Welsh.
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Sorensen; Hughes, Delaney, Mellberg, Barry; Hendrie, McCann, Davis, Milner; Angel, Moore. Substitutes not used: Samuel, Taylor (gk), Whittingham, Ridgewell, Gardner.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).
Bookings Aston Villa Barry, Milner.
Man of the match: Milner.
Attendance: 17,051.Reuse content