Dean Smith urges Aston Villa to go on and win Carabao Cup

Boss Dean Smith insisted Aston Villa must target Carabao Cup glory after their 2-1 win over Wolves.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s winner sent Villa into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.

Anwar El Ghazi gave the hosts the lead but Patrick Cutrone’s second-half effort briefly levelled.

Villa have beaten Sky Bet League Two Crewe and youthful Brighton and Wolves teams to reach the last eight and Smith wants the club to win the trophy for the first time in 23 years.

He said: “For me football is about trying to win something. Why not go all out to win it? You only get three opportunities (a season) if you’re not in Europe.

“You enter three competitions and the title probably slipped away from us on Saturday so we have the Carabao Cup and FA Cup to fight for.

“We want to finish as high as we can but this is a priority as well. We have a proud history in this cup, we’ve won it five times, and want to continue to win it more and have days like we had in May at Wembley.

“There’s still a long way to go but it was a deserved victory.”

El Ghazi fired Villa ahead after 29 minutes when John Ruddy just failed to keep his low drive out.

Villa dominated but were stunned when Cutrone turned in Taylor Perry’s shot nine minutes after the break.

It was just the striker’s second goal in 17 games since his summer arrival from AC Milan but it was cancelled out three minutes later with Elmohamady’s winner.

The full-back got ahead of Bruno Jordao to stab in Henri Lansbury’s near-post free-kick for his third Villa goal and first in over a year.

Wolves never looked like recovering but, despite defeat, boss Nuno Espirito Santo was satisfied with his young team.

The manager rested several established stars for Wolves’ 21st game of the season as they continue to compete in Europe and the Premier League.

Chem Campbell, 16, became the club’s second youngest player while teenagers Dion Sanderson and Taylor Perry were given their full debuts.

Nuno said: “It was a tough game, Villa are a good team, we know Dean, he has good ideas and it was hard. We managed well, we stuck to our shape and we balanced ourselves. We had our moments.

“The young players competed and gave everything, you have to give everything you’ve got.

“It’s a building process. Since the beginning we’ve tried to give competition to the young boys.

“We tried to mix experience and talent. Their families should be proud, they are good lads.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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