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Swindon v Villa: Ireland urges team to dig in again to progress

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Swindon v Villa: Ireland urges team to dig in again to progress

By Paul Brown

Stephen Ireland expects a really tough test against Swindon Town tonight but wants Villa to "dig in" and force their way closer to Wembley.

Ireland is fully aware that the Robins - under influential manager Paolo Di Canio - will be well up for it at the County Ground in the fourth round encounter.

But the midfield ace has urged the claret and blue troops to put on a repeat of their performance against Manchester City in the last round, a game he admits he was gutted to miss.

He said: "It's going to be really tough because they're going to be up for it in the same way we were against Manchester City.

"But hopefully we can take charge and go into it with confidence.

"Everyone knows what's at stake and we actually believe that we can go on and push for the final.

"It's not going to be what we are used to in the Premier League down at Swindon. But everyone has got to cope with the surroundings, dig in and get a result.

"We're in a great position to go on and achieve something that I've personally not achieved before.

"If we can win this evening it sets us up for a great run and we're not far away from actually being in the final."

On missing out on the Etihad Stadium victory, he added: "It was very frustrating missing that game and having to watch it from the stands.

"It was a nightmare breaking my arm before that match because I had that one in my sights.

"I was actually quietly confident going into that game that we were going to get something out of it.

"We seemed to go there with the feeling we'd got nothing to lose and we had no fear and just went for it. Even when we went 1-0 down I still thought we would do something.

"We just took our chances and it was a great performance."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 30th October 2012
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