Dean Smith is relishing a special Villa Park atmosphere for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second leg against Leicester City – and recalled his own memories of watching from the Holte End as the club enjoyed a thrilling semi-final success under the lights in 1994.
Villa host the Foxes on home soil with the tie finely poised following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
And, with a place in the final at stake, Smith anticipates Villa Park will be “rocking” as his Lions are roared on. Secure your seat, click here.
“We got a great result at Leicester, under pressure for long periods,” he said.
“We scored a breakaway goal and unfortunately gave them a goal, it was a poor goal to give away.
“But it’s all there to play for now at Villa Park. It’s even-stevens.
“Yes, they beat us before (in the Premier League) but we’re a different team now than we were then.
“Tyrone Mings got injured after 20 minutes when they scored the first and I believe we’re in a different place now.
“It’ll be rocking. I’ve been to enough semi-finals at Villa Park to know that.
“The atmosphere will certainly be up there.”
The club have a long and distinguished record in the League Cup, becoming the first winners of the inaugural competition in 1961.
Villa are five-time winners, most recently in 1996, and have also finished runners-up on three further occasions, including 2010.
And Head Coach Smith fondly recalls being among the Villa faithful in 1994 as Ron Atkinson’s side got the better of Tranmere Rovers on penalties following a dramatic 4-4 draw.
He added: “I remember being in the Holte End for the Tranmere game.
“We were two goals down from the first leg and the atmosphere was tremendous.
“The Holte End actually sucked a goal in, I think, that night.”
Tickets remain on sale for the semi-final encounter, click here.