Rotherham United players who aspire to play higher will get the chance to show they are capable of doing so when the Millers take on Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup tonight.
That’s the view of Millers boss Steve Evans as he prepares to take his side to the Premier League club tonight in an attempt to spring another cup shock.
“It’s a great stage for our players to perform and those who have played higher than where we are now or who aspire to play higher, get the perfect opportunity to showcase their talents,” he said.
“We have a talented squad and the players are looking forward to it but we’re not going there just to enjoy the night, it’s about going to spring another surprise.
“Yes, we may end up getting beaten but if that happens, it’s how we’ve performed. I want to see a performance from us.
“When the draw was made I believed we were capable of winning it. We will be in their faces all over the pitch. Now whether that is enough, who knows?
“The fact is if Villa play at their best, then it’s difficult for us. To win, we have to be at the top of our game and Villa have to be off theirs.”
Villa go into the game with memories still painful of their exit last season at the semi-final stage. They had League Two opposition in Bradford City and Villa were hot favourites only to lose over the two legs.
“Paul Lambert (Villa boss) may use that to remind his players what can happen. I see a physically stronger Villa side this time than they were then,” said Evans.
“I think he will put out a strong side - they have no game next weekend and then it’s the international break - but we will, individually and collectively, need to be at our best.
“For beating Sheffield Wednesday the reward for everyone - Tony Stewart, who has put in so many millions, the players, the fans and all connected with the club - was to get a draw like this and everyone’s excited but we have to go and do a job, put in a performance and we want a performance we’ll remember. We certainly won’t remember a poor one only for the wrong reasons.”
Evans, who watched Villa thump Crewe 5-1 pre-season, says there will be a couple of changes. Daniel Nardiello serves his ban tonight.