Norwich v Villa: Lichaj has daddy of all incentives for cup joy
Eric Lichaj admits he has the daddy of all incentives to progress in the Capital One Cup with Villa.
The American full-back's return to first team duty this season coincided with the birth of his little daughter Ava.
And his first born is proving to be a major inspiration ahead of tonight's quarter-final clash against Norwich.
Lichaj says going all the way in the cup with Villa would cap the happiest time of his life.
He said: "If we get to the Wembley I'll get a picture of it and frame it so I can engrave it in her brain that her daddy played at Wembley and that will give her something to remember me by!
"It's great being a dad. It's an experience that everyone should witness - the birth of their child.
"I'm not really exhausted. My other half Kathryn does well! Especially when I'm training and on game days.
"She gets Ava out of the room so that I can get my rest. She's doing most of it. I'm a little bit rough and tough with Ava already!
"It's a little crazy, but exciting at the same time. She's three weeks old now and she's got my hair!"
Booking a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup would be an early festive treat for Lichaj, whose relatives are set to fly over from Chicago for Christmas.
"I always wanted to be a family man," added the 24-year-old.
"I'm from a close family with two older brothers. I've always wanted a big family so this is just the start of it and I'm excited about it.
"My family are coming over at Christmas time. It will be nice to see each other and not just Skype.
"Things are going well for me. I'm a happy guy. I'm usually a happy guy anyway but even more so now because I've got a little daughter and everything's going well."
Lichaj wasn't involved with the first team last time Villa reached the League Cup final in 2010.
But the defender remembers the excitement it created around the club.
And it is something he would love to experience for himself.
"I didn't go," he said. "I was up in Leeds on loan then and I might have had a game, I'm not sure.
"I wasn't in and around the first team anyway and I was a bit younger so it didn't really feel like I was involved.
"I wasn't really missing out because there was no chance of me getting into the squad even if I wasn't out on loan.
"But it was good for the club and I was excited for the lads that were playing.
"Norwich is a very important game. We've done well to stay in the cup.
"This is a game for the fans to get up for again and hopefully we can make a run to Wembley like we did a couple of years ago."