Martin Laursen believes Villa must "win the battle" to see off Bradford in the cup semi-final.
Laursen accepts that Villa have more quality in the ranks for Tuesday.
But our former skipper says that counts for nothing if they don't do the basic things right in B6.
Chief among those is going toe-to-toe with their Bantams opponents.
He said: "It's an exciting game coming up with Villa facing the big second leg against Bradford City.
"Villa can still get through, of course, despite the two-goal deficit. It's still very possible.
"We need to win the battles all over the pitch. Every player must win their individual battle.
"Against these teams, you need to win the battle first and then you can show your Premier League class.
"We must be stronger all over the pitch on Tuesday.
"A good start - one or two goals in the first half - would be fantastic. That would get the fans onside and get Villa Park rocking."
Laursen thinks getting to the final would positively affect Villa's league form too.
He added: "Playing a fantastic game and getting to a final would create a good atmosphere at the club and lift the young players.
"It will give them confidence, which can push them on with the league programme too.
"Trust me, playing in a final is a massive, massive thing!"
Snap up your tickets for the Bradford clash.