Karim El Ahmadi says Villa need to be just as motivated for the Capital One Cup second round clash against Rotherham as for their exciting triple-header against the top-flight's big guns.
El Ahmadi has warned his team-mates against complacency as they prepare to face the League One outfit on the back of encounters against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Moroccan midfielder reckons the Millers encounter poses a tougher mental examination for Paul Lambert's team because of the unpredictability of cup football.
"This is in some ways a harder game than against Arsenal, Liverpool or against Chelsea. The drive and passion from those three games has to be there," said the former Feyenoord ace.
"You can only lose to yourself on Wednesday.
"That is what we have to be aware of. We have to be very motivated to get to the next round."
El Ahmadi sees no reason why Villa can't embark on a long cup run if they negotiate this tricky first hurdle.
But he appreciates anything can happen in the prestigious knockout competition, as the claret and blues discovered with last season's semi-final defeat to Bradford City.
"You never know what will happen," said El Ahmadi.
"You saw it last year with a smaller team getting to the final.
"Maybe if we win this we can be in the final later in the season."
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