Date: 4th February 2009 at 4:37pm
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As the snow finally thaws, it now appears that Aston Villa did not make any late transfer deadline day signings. I personally had expected a couple to pop up in the grounds of Bodymoor Heath, unable to make the press conference due to being trapped within a massive snowdrift.

Well, I can`t be right all the time!

It`s Villa, it`s Donny, it`s a replay. Big Fish, Little FishÂ…FA CUP, Preview!

Vital Quotes:

Who said this, when asked about the possibility of his side not making the European big bucks positions this year:

“If I ask you ‘what does it mean if your house burns down?’ you will tell me ‘why should my house burn down?’ That is exactly the same for me.'”

Villa boss Martin O`Neill recognises that it`s up to the Villa squad to overcome the plucky Championship side that held his team to a dismal 0-0 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium, and fully expects “more of the same” from Donny Rovers.` O`Neill spoke to as always:

“It was really tough – and I expect the same again. I won’t be treating the game lightly at all.

“They are a fine football side and I thought they played very well against us, which didn’t surprise me. They played with no fear and went for it from the start.

“They had two great chances and we could really have scored a couple of goals ourselves.

“It’s now up to us to go out and win this game. We are at home and the onus is on us. We will go all out to win the game.”

Sky Sports News had shown Martin O`Neill talking about prioritising at some point down the line. I`m not even going to go into this, after just 1 January signing, I think MON`s comments would drive me finally over the edge.

Given the cold weather of late (by the way, the game is officially ON for this evening) it is only natural that someone who has been brought in from the cold, has FA Cup fever. Craig Gardner wants to be part of a side that writes a little bit of cup history, and not in the way that David James did in the last final to be played at the old Wembley. He also spoke to

“I was on the terraces for the Villa v Tranmere League Cup semi-final game.

“We were 3-1 down and pulled it back in the match at Villa Park. To see Mark Bosnich saving those penalties was absolutely unbelievable.

“For years, I was a fan singing on the terraces. Now supporters are singing to me while I play. That’s massive.”

Craig went on to seemingly suggest that ‘women`s problems` have seen him limited in his first team appearances, and now he`s happy to be starting matches due to the absence of Nigel Reo-Coker, and the reasonably ineffective performances of Steve Sidwell.

“I have been coming on a bit and now I’ve started the last two games. I am buzzing. I just want to keep playing football and impressing”

On the other side of things, Doncaster Rovers boss Shaun O`Driscoll is relishing the hard-earned chance to play at fortress Villa Park. Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield he said:

“It’s one of the classic grounds of English football, from the players point of view they want to go and perform on a stage where they can show what they can do.
“We know it will be difficult, but there’s certain things that we’d like to get out of the game.
“Regardless of the result, we want to come out of the game as a better team.”

Aston Villa Team News:

Villa are set to welcome Ashley Young back to the side, who has finished his 3-game suspension for such a silly tackle which with hindsight, wasn`t that much worse than Frank “super goals” Lampard`s, and certainly wasn`t as bad as Jose Boswinga`s methods of dealing with the “hold it in the corner” tactic, by booting the poor bloke doing the holding in the back!

John Carew is reported to be set for a start following his injury recovery of biblical proportions. For someone who isn`t fit apparently, he`s being well used. Hmmm.

Silly-Stan is suspended; Emile Heskey is unable to play as he didn`t sign in time for the first attempt at this fixture. Except a few changes as Martin tinkers, but tries not to tinker so much as to make anyone think he`s trying to get us knocked out.

Give Brad Mk.II a game Monny, I`m sure he`s a bit bored by now!

Player to watch: John Carew

John has made a marvelous recovery, which proves that he has special powers, right?

Doncaster Rovers Team News:

Doncaster`s January signings Dean Shiels and Steve Brooker both miss out through ineligibility and injury respectively. Brian Stock BBC reports will face a late fitness test (perhaps on the coach up?) and Martin Woods is fit!

Player to watch: Neil Sullivan

Lauded as one of the main reasons as to why we even have to bother with this fixture, the vegetarian goalkeeper, sorry, veteran goalkeeper, is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance following his Leeds United departure. He is however unlikely to have rid his mind of *that* JPA goal in the Carling Cup. Come back Juan, I miss you!

1 Useful Fact, The Rest Are Useless:

Once more my friends I have switched the TV on and firmly believed I was tripping. Apparently this is real, and did make it into the charts.

Big fish, big fish, big fish, cardboard box. Who said we`re a country in crisis?

A minutes silence will be held this evening prior to kick off to remember Paul Birch, who died this week. Birchy played for both Aston Villa and Doncaster Rovers during his career.

Some of you were no doubt missing my wonderful insight into the town we visited in the original fixture, as I had forgotten to write a preview.

Nail in the wall, bish bash bosh it.

The railway engines The Flying Scotsman and Mallard were both built in Doncaster. Ivor the engine however was not, on account of his fictional nature.

Donny was also once famous for it`s tractors, with a 61-year operational life of a factory churning out a farmers best friend.

The Frenchgate Centre is Doncasters premier shopping area and transport interchange, boasting 880,000 sq ft of retail space, a bus station, and direct link to the railway station! Plenty of chances to escape then!

Doncaster, in all my months of preview writing, must be one of the most boring places I have ever dared to type words about.

Marlon Harewood`s ace isn`t he?

Ref Watch:

The referee tonight is a Mr Lee Mason who has come all the way down from Lancashire (hope you enjoyed the M6 Lee!)

Mr Mason oversaw our un-shocking exit from the Carling Cup at the hands of QPR, and booked a whopping 8 players as super Zat Knight rescued a point at home against Arsenal, who`s manager is Arsene, and they have a player called Arshavin. A lot of Arse at Arse.

Match Prediction:

37-5 to the Villa, Salifou to score. Why be serious? Nobody who reads this carp is! Not sure if Mystic Mug has been about or not!

Next Up:

Next time, Villa have a tricky tie against Big Sam (who`s looking bigger these days) and his merry men of Blackburn on Saturday afternoon!

Thanks for reading chaps and the odd chap-ess!


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