Thursday media watch [10.01.13 AM]: Agbonlahor upbeat
Daily Express: Gabby Agbonlahor has warned Bradford City it is not all over and that Aston Villa have a history of recovering from League Cup shocks. Villa fan Agbonlahor recalls the comeback from 3-1 down against Tranmere to reach the final in 1994, and the crazy 6-4 victory over Blackburn three years ago to get there again.
Sky Sports: Gabriel Agbonlahor has warned buoyant Bradford that Aston Villa consider themselves to be very much in the Capital One Cup. Villa slipped to a shock 3-1 defeat in the first leg of their semi-final showdown with the Bantams on Tuesday, leaving them with it all to do if they are to book a day out at Wembley. All is not lost, though, with the return leg set to be staged at Villa Park.
Sun: Gabby Agbonlahor is refusing to push the panic button in the wake of Aston Villa's humiliating 3-1 defeat to Bradford. Villa gave Blackburn a 2-0 start in the semi-final second leg three years ago but hit six goals in an hour to storm through. And striker Agbonlahor, 26, is convinced they will knock League Two Bradford out in the January 22 return.
Telegraph: Gabriel Agbonlahor has warned Aston Villa that they will not be able to hide behind their age if they fail to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the second leg of the Capital One semi-final against Bradford City. Agbonlahor is weary of hearing the team's youthful composition used as an excuse for Aston Villa's disappointing form and called on those fast-tracked into the first team by manager Paul Lambert to show why.
Mirror: Gabby Agbonlahor insists Aston Villa's kids are man enough to both reach Wembley and avoid relegation. Boss Paul Lambert swept a new broom through Villa when he arrived last summer, bringing in several young, hungry, lower-league players. But the Scot's new-look side has largely struggled in the Premier League and were embarrassed 3-1 away by League Two side Bradford on Tuesday in the first leg of a Capital One Cup semi-final. Agbonlahor was Villa's third oldest starter at Valley Parade, behind Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia. But the 26-year-old striker, is not panicking about his team's overall lack of experience.
Yorkshire Evening Post: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was left to rue his side's poor defending as Bradford City humbled the Premier League side at Valley Parade. Villa's defence were static for all three City goals as Nahki Wells, Rory McArdle and Carl McHugh sent Bradford fans into raptures. The top-flight strugglers may still be favourites to advance in some quarters, but only if they can improve their defending.
Birmingham Mail: Joe Bennett has apologised for his under-par performance in the 3-1 defeat to Bradford. The Villa full-back was given a torrid time at Valley Parade in the Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg defeat and took to Twitter to reveal his thoughts on the night. "Still hard to take last night! Don't mind bit of stick defo wasn't at it last night.. #apologies," he tweeted yesterday (Wednesday).
Irish Independent: LA Galaxy are considering a move for Richard Dunne if he can prove that he has overcome his struggles with injury. New York Red Bulls want to bring the Dubliner Stateside and it's understood that MLS Cup champions Galaxy are now also monitoring his progress.
Daily Star: Paul Lambert will be backed not sacked after Aston Villa's cup humiliation at Bradford. Starsport understands Villa have no plans to axe Lambert after Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi- final first-leg defeat at League Two Bantams. Instead, owner Randy Lerner will provide the Villa boss with around £10m to boost his squad.
Birmingham Mail: Steve Staunton has warned Villa not to get caught up with thoughts of progressing to Wembley as they've got an even bigger 'cup final' against Southampton on Saturday.
Daily Mail: Steve Staunton believes Aston Villa's match with Southampton on Saturday is "one of the biggest they've played." With Villa just above the drop zone, Staunton, who played almost 300 games for Villa, said: "This is crucial. Relegation would have a devastating effect."
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.