O'Leary urges Carling Cup caution
David O'Leary will remind his Aston Villa players of last season's Carling Cup debacle at Burnley as they look to avoid suffering another potential upset in Tuesday's clash at Wycombe.
Villa were humiliated 3-1 by the Coca Cola Championship side after being outfought and out-battled and O'Leary will not stand for a repeat of that miserable performance.
He realises the competition represents one of Villa's best chances of picking up some silverware and securing a European spot and will field his strongest available side.
Villa defeated Wycombe 5-0 two years ago on their way to the semi-finals and O'Leary is keen to go one better and participate at the Millennium Stadium in late February.
He said: 'We should win on Tuesday if we are right. If we go out with the wrong attitude and think we have just got to turn up there and that takes care of things, then there will be a shock result on the cards.
'Burnley was a hard game. I think people might have gone up there and thought 'It's only Burnley' but on the night we were outfought.
'We can't afford to go into a game not having that edge. We've got to be right from the very start no matter who we play and it's about application and everyone going out on a professional basis and wanting to do well.'
O'Leary added: 'I'll be saying to the players `Do they want to win this competition?' Everyone will be saying that on Tuesday and Wednesday, everyone will be thinking they have a chance.
'The competition is about who you draw. You can get Chelsea in the next round and get blown out of the window but I've won this and cup the FA Cup a few times and you can get a long way and then you never know after that.
'The competition will get rubbished by certain clubs because they have higher agendas but there are a lot of other clubs who feel this is a better chance of getting into Europe than other ways.'
O'Leary will hope his side can continue in the same vein as on Saturday when they drew 1-1 with Tottenham and were only denied victory by a fine display from England keeper Paul Robinson.
He said: 'We know we can do a lot better than we had in the previous game against West Ham. We went out against a good footballing side in Tottenham and did well.
'With the principles we have and if we are right, we can pass the ball, move it around and create chances. It was probably the best game on TV this season because Villa and Spurs pass the ball around with the purpose of creating goals.
'That is the standard you want to try and get to. That's the way we train and practice for that to happen. That's our standard - against Tottenham. I will look for the same approach on Tuesday. We will be playing a full strength side.'
O'Leary will again be without striker Kevin Phillips with the calf strain he suffered in the pre-match warm-up ahead of the Spurs game and he is also rated doubtful for Saturday's clash at Premiership leaders Chelsea.
The manager played down any knowledge of a possible takeover bid with the club confirming that a 'preliminary approach' to buy the club had been made.
O'Leary said: 'I haven't been told anything. I just look after the team.'