Bradford City v Aston Villa: Biggest night of McHugh's life? That’s a Given!

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Carl McHugh makes a nuisance of himself in the Arsenal goalmouth during City’s sensational quarter-final win Carl McHugh makes a nuisance of himself in the Arsenal goalmouth during City’s sensational quarter-final win

Carl McHugh’s Capital One Cup dream will hit another level tonight when he faces his idol in the semi-final opener against Aston Villa.

City’s first ever appearance in the last four has also turned into the “battle of Donegal” as McHugh shares the Valley Parade pitch with Shay Given.

The Villa keeper hails from the same corner of Ireland as the 19-year-old centre half, who admits he will be pinching himself again.

It has been a memorable competition for McHugh, who made his debut at Watford in the second round before playing starring defensive roles to shock Wigan and Arsenal. But taking on Given will top it all.

McHugh said: “Shay is such a hero of mine and the biggest player to ever come out of Donegal.

“I watched him playing for Ireland in World Cups when I was growing up and never imagined that one day we might be on the same pitch. His is definitely the jersey I’ll be looking for afterwards.

“And maybe I can get up for a set-piece and put a wee header past him? We’re definitely dreaming now!”

McHugh will return after a recent calf injury to continue an unforgettable first season in senior football.

“It’s been crazy, I don’t know how else to describe it. All the performances have been disciplined and everybody has followed their roles to the letter.

“That’s what we’re going to have to do again. Playing over two legs minimises the chance of a shock but we want to keep it alive going back to Villa Park.

“They are top international and Premier League players and it’s going to be a massive test. But that’s why we all play the game.”

Phil Parkinson is just as confident that City can once more rise to the occasion in the club’s first semi-final since they lifted the FA Cup for the only time in 1911.

He said: “It’s great for the likes of Carl McHugh. To mark the players he’s been up against is an experience that will never, ever leave him.

“Not only that but to play against them on the big stage in front of the TV cameras and be able to handle that pressure is fantastic.

“We just want to be in it after tonight. A draw wouldn’t be the worst scenario in the world.

“If we can be in the game going into Villa Park, there will be a packed house down there and the expectations on Aston Villa will be absolutely massive.

“It’s a big ask but I do feel the crowd will take us to another level.”

Garry Thompson, the goalscorer against Arsenal, is still out and James Hanson didn’t train yesterday after taking a knock.

Left back James Meredith is slowly recovering from his illness but City will not take any chances if they feel he is not ready.

Tonight marks their 38th game of a non-stop campaign – 11 more than Villa have played.

Parkinson added: “You listen to a lot of Premier League managers having to rotate the players and we’ve had to deal with so many more games with such a small squad. It’s been a huge achievement.”

City are only the fourth team from the fourth tier to reach the semi-finals.

Villa boss Paul Lambert was in charge of the last one, when his Wycombe side faced Chelsea in 2007.

He said: “I know what it is like. The Bradford lads will give everything and more because the adrenaline will be high.

“Bradford have earned the right to get this far. Underestimate them at your peril, I think.”

Meanwhile, City have extended West Ham winger Blair Turgott’s loan by another month and he could feature.

Comments (28)

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10:48am Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

the excitement is starting to kick in........
For anyone like me who is unable to be at the game, and do not possess sky tv, you can watch it here ....................
......
firstrowsports.eu...
..free sky feeds.
good luck to the lads.....will be tough but ...hey......wembley IS the reward after 2 games.
ctid
the excitement is starting to kick in........ For anyone like me who is unable to be at the game, and do not possess sky tv, you can watch it here .................... ...... firstrowsports.eu... ..free sky feeds. good luck to the lads.....will be tough but ...hey......wembley IS the reward after 2 games. ctid cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

11:05am Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

Im reading at newsnow.co.uk ......a sky posting, that Hanson and Meredith are doubtful for tonight.
ctid
Im reading at newsnow.co.uk ......a sky posting, that Hanson and Meredith are doubtful for tonight. ctid cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

11:13am Tue 8 Jan 13

bcfc1903 says...

Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz
Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!!
Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!! bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

11:23am Tue 8 Jan 13

tyker2 says...

I have not seen it reported:is it a total sell out?
I have not seen it reported:is it a total sell out? tyker2
  • Score: 0

11:29am Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

21,500 tickets sold earlier this morning...they are expecting over 22,000 tickets go OFF SALE at 12 noon.
ctid
21,500 tickets sold earlier this morning...they are expecting over 22,000 tickets go OFF SALE at 12 noon. ctid cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

11:41am Tue 8 Jan 13

lawsonio123 says...

VILLA Not Consistant Nothing ti lose Attack them and Maybe just Maybe they will Crumble. GOOD LUCK CITY.
VILLA Not Consistant Nothing ti lose Attack them and Maybe just Maybe they will Crumble. GOOD LUCK CITY. lawsonio123
  • Score: 0

11:41am Tue 8 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

The semi-final of The League Cup. Despite it's demise into random sponsorship names over the last few decades, this is still a major cup within England, look at the history, the previous winners. BCFC are in a major semi-final which still beggers belief and I still pinch myself to ensure I am not dreaming. For me whether we win, lose or draw tonight, the achievements to get this far is truely remarkable and nobody should ever forget the journey. We are a League 2 side going against the big-boys, don't ever forget that! - Whatever the outcome tonight and in two weeks time, the club, staff, players and supports can once again hold their heads up high, puff out their chests and be proud! Good luck to everyone tonight and for those watching in the ground, shout like never before, scream like never before and send the fright of a lifetime up the Villa!
The semi-final of The League Cup. Despite it's demise into random sponsorship names over the last few decades, this is still a major cup within England, look at the history, the previous winners. BCFC are in a major semi-final which still beggers belief and I still pinch myself to ensure I am not dreaming. For me whether we win, lose or draw tonight, the achievements to get this far is truely remarkable and nobody should ever forget the journey. We are a League 2 side going against the big-boys, don't ever forget that! - Whatever the outcome tonight and in two weeks time, the club, staff, players and supports can once again hold their heads up high, puff out their chests and be proud! Good luck to everyone tonight and for those watching in the ground, shout like never before, scream like never before and send the fright of a lifetime up the Villa! Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

FOOTBALL
Former Bradford and Aston Villa striker Ian Ormondroyd, who now works a community officer at Valley Parade, has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live about Villa's season.

He said: "There's a lot more pressure on them than Bradford, because they are the Premier League team and we are in League Two, four leagues below them. If they can manage to get a draw or a win they'd you'd really fancy them in the second leg."
0937:
FOOTBALL
Former Bradford and Aston Villa striker Ian Ormondroyd, who now works a community officer at Valley Parade, has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live about tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg between the two sides.

He said: "The feeling is really good, it's very upbeat obviously the club has been in the doldrums for the last ten or twelve years from dropping out of the Premier League and down the leagues into League Two.

"The club has been revitalised by this and we are on the way up again."
FOOTBALL Former Bradford and Aston Villa striker Ian Ormondroyd, who now works a community officer at Valley Parade, has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live about Villa's season. He said: "There's a lot more pressure on them than Bradford, because they are the Premier League team and we are in League Two, four leagues below them. If they can manage to get a draw or a win they'd you'd really fancy them in the second leg." 0937: FOOTBALL Former Bradford and Aston Villa striker Ian Ormondroyd, who now works a community officer at Valley Parade, has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live about tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg between the two sides. He said: "The feeling is really good, it's very upbeat obviously the club has been in the doldrums for the last ten or twelve years from dropping out of the Premier League and down the leagues into League Two. "The club has been revitalised by this and we are on the way up again." Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

I also see Port Vale have signed Lee Hughes until the end of the season
I also see Port Vale have signed Lee Hughes until the end of the season Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

Any news or updates on James Hanson's injury? I guess it will be Wells/connell should Hanson be out? Will we struggle with height without Hanson, he did give Arsenal a tough time.
Any news or updates on James Hanson's injury? I guess it will be Wells/connell should Hanson be out? Will we struggle with height without Hanson, he did give Arsenal a tough time. Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

citygentlemen....im reading at the BCFC site that Hanson and Darby are going to have a check up before parkinson names his team, they received knocks on saturday ....it also says, we have a few other bumps and bruises james hanson and stephen darby...nothing too major though.
Meredith is almost sure to miss tonight, he has to see a doctor about the recent virus he obtained.
ctid
citygentlemen....im reading at the BCFC site that Hanson and Darby are going to have a check up before parkinson names his team, they received knocks on saturday ....it also says, we have a few other bumps and bruises james hanson and stephen darby...nothing too major though. Meredith is almost sure to miss tonight, he has to see a doctor about the recent virus he obtained. ctid cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

Thanks Cookie. 7 hrs and counting!
Thanks Cookie. 7 hrs and counting! Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Victor Clayton says...

Citygentleman1968 wrote:
Any news or updates on James Hanson's injury? I guess it will be Wells/connell should Hanson be out? Will we struggle with height without Hanson, he did give Arsenal a tough time.
it would be a real shame if JH is out. both for him and us.
[quote][p][bold]Citygentleman1968[/bold] wrote: Any news or updates on James Hanson's injury? I guess it will be Wells/connell should Hanson be out? Will we struggle with height without Hanson, he did give Arsenal a tough time.[/p][/quote]it would be a real shame if JH is out. both for him and us. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Victor Clayton says...

bcfc1903 wrote:
Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!!
hear, hear. I understans all his familly were over for the Arsenal game. lets home they bring a bit more Irish luck tonight.
[quote][p][bold]bcfc1903[/bold] wrote: Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!![/p][/quote]hear, hear. I understans all his familly were over for the Arsenal game. lets home they bring a bit more Irish luck tonight. Victor Clayton
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

I personally think that parkinson is putting up a smoke screen with Hanson............. you never show your hand in a game of poker.
hope I am right.
ctid.
I personally think that parkinson is putting up a smoke screen with Hanson............. you never show your hand in a game of poker. hope I am right. ctid. cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Tue 8 Jan 13

gspot01 says...

Just pinching myself that we 'League 2 Bradford City' are in the Carling Cup Semi Final - only just sunk in i think.
.
Yes it would be great to get something out of tonights game, but if not then the fact that McHugh earns little over £200 pw (reportedly) has already marked £80k pw Gervinho out of the tie but tonight not only will he be marking Bent/Benteke but he'll be playing against his hero!!!!!
.
For us to be in the semi final is unbelievable!!!
.
Just a shame that the players are starting to look very leggy and i think it will cost us our promotion in my opinion!!
.
Enjoy tonight after 10 miserable years.
Just pinching myself that we 'League 2 Bradford City' are in the Carling Cup Semi Final - only just sunk in i think. . Yes it would be great to get something out of tonights game, but if not then the fact that McHugh earns little over £200 pw (reportedly) has already marked £80k pw Gervinho out of the tie but tonight not only will he be marking Bent/Benteke but he'll be playing against his hero!!!!! . For us to be in the semi final is unbelievable!!! . Just a shame that the players are starting to look very leggy and i think it will cost us our promotion in my opinion!! . Enjoy tonight after 10 miserable years. gspot01
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Tue 8 Jan 13

bettyswollocks says...

That feeling of nervous excitement that I had for days before the Arsenal game is just starting to come back. Probably because the Arsenal game was seen as a one-off but this one isn't.

We need to get into them early on, nick a goal then keep it tight to sap any remaining confidence out of Villa. A couple of late goals then to give us a cushion for the 2nd leg.

I know I'm dreaming but with this team of ours anything is possible!

Come on City!
That feeling of nervous excitement that I had for days before the Arsenal game is just starting to come back. Probably because the Arsenal game was seen as a one-off but this one isn't. We need to get into them early on, nick a goal then keep it tight to sap any remaining confidence out of Villa. A couple of late goals then to give us a cushion for the 2nd leg. I know I'm dreaming but with this team of ours anything is possible! Come on City! bettyswollocks
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Tue 8 Jan 13

bcfc1903 says...

Victor Clayton wrote:
bcfc1903 wrote:
Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!!
hear, hear. I understans all his familly were over for the Arsenal game. lets home they bring a bit more Irish luck tonight.
I wonder if they will be at Valley Parade tonight...hopefully they will...yes the luck of the Irish would be welcome again. It'll be a long shot but who's to say BCFC can't pull off a decent result tonight making the Villa Park game a massive pressure game for AV with BCFC going there with nothing to lose again. Hopefully everyone of the BCFC fans will realise what a special game it is at VP tonight..it being our clubs first major cup semifinal appearance since 1911....Come On City...Come On City!!!

**
We shout with pride....We'll never hide...Claret and Amber.
[quote][p][bold]Victor Clayton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bcfc1903[/bold] wrote: Good luck to you Carl and the rest of the squad members and management .....we've got nothing to lose, we all know you'll all give it 100% like the lads have all season...do that and you never know. You've done the club proud...The BCFC fans will be well up for this game...with a Wall of Sound coming from three sides of the ground http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=BZ0mdLeBz Qc ......Now bring on the Villa!!!!!!![/p][/quote]hear, hear. I understans all his familly were over for the Arsenal game. lets home they bring a bit more Irish luck tonight.[/p][/quote]I wonder if they will be at Valley Parade tonight...hopefully they will...yes the luck of the Irish would be welcome again. It'll be a long shot but who's to say BCFC can't pull off a decent result tonight making the Villa Park game a massive pressure game for AV with BCFC going there with nothing to lose again. Hopefully everyone of the BCFC fans will realise what a special game it is at VP tonight..it being our clubs first major cup semifinal appearance since 1911....Come On City...Come On City!!! ** We shout with pride....We'll never hide...Claret and Amber. bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Tue 8 Jan 13

ALEXIMO.56. says...

Whatever the score tonite, City have and are still having a fantastic season. We all know Promotion is priority but hey, we have a realistic chance of beating Villa over two legs and getting to Wembley. Good luck to the lads and let's all stay possitive. c.t.i.d.
Whatever the score tonite, City have and are still having a fantastic season. We all know Promotion is priority but hey, we have a realistic chance of beating Villa over two legs and getting to Wembley. Good luck to the lads and let's all stay possitive. c.t.i.d. ALEXIMO.56.
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Tue 8 Jan 13

audal says...

As the song/lyrics go...you have to have a dream because without a dream how can a dream come true... soooo two draws one extra time then after a pen. shoot out we have WEMBLEY oh heck and i am still sober.
As the song/lyrics go...you have to have a dream because without a dream how can a dream come true... soooo two draws one extra time then after a pen. shoot out we have WEMBLEY oh heck and i am still sober. audal
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Tue 8 Jan 13

shoesmaker4 says...

good look to the lads tomorrow and to a great result to ,its a leval playing feild and for villa to win thay still have to score carnt wait for the game most of the country must be rooting for us as underdogs good look phill and the boys come on city ,
good look to the lads tomorrow and to a great result to ,its a leval playing feild and for villa to win thay still have to score carnt wait for the game most of the country must be rooting for us as underdogs good look phill and the boys come on city , shoesmaker4
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

I think it was the playing of the Bradford song that disloged Arsenal.........play it HIGH AND LOUD tonight ha ha.
I think it was the playing of the Bradford song that disloged Arsenal.........play it HIGH AND LOUD tonight ha ha. cookie_brighton
  • Score: -1

3:37pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Bredon Bantam says...

tyker2 says...
11:23am Tue 8 Jan 13

I have not seen it reported:is it a total sell out?”

Just collected a ticket for tonight,told approx 300 tickets left unsold,which presumably means a crowd of 23,500?

Anyway VP should be rocking again,

Hoping for a draw at least,come on you Bantams!
tyker2 says... 11:23am Tue 8 Jan 13 I have not seen it reported:is it a total sell out?” Just collected a ticket for tonight,told approx 300 tickets left unsold,which presumably means a crowd of 23,500? Anyway VP should be rocking again, Hoping for a draw at least,come on you Bantams! Bredon Bantam
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Tue 8 Jan 13

cookie_brighton says...

shoesmaker4.......TO
MORROW.
for your information the lads play.....TONIGHT ...ha ha
ctid
shoesmaker4.......TO MORROW. for your information the lads play.....TONIGHT ...ha ha ctid cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Tue 8 Jan 13

GABRIEL.NORDE says...

Citygentleman1968 wrote:
The semi-final of The League Cup. Despite it's demise into random sponsorship names over the last few decades, this is still a major cup within England, look at the history, the previous winners. BCFC are in a major semi-final which still beggers belief and I still pinch myself to ensure I am not dreaming. For me whether we win, lose or draw tonight, the achievements to get this far is truely remarkable and nobody should ever forget the journey. We are a League 2 side going against the big-boys, don't ever forget that! - Whatever the outcome tonight and in two weeks time, the club, staff, players and supports can once again hold their heads up high, puff out their chests and be proud! Good luck to everyone tonight and for those watching in the ground, shout like never before, scream like never before and send the fright of a lifetime up the Villa!
I really can't 'top' that, except to say: GIVE 'EM 'ELL, BOYS!!!
[quote][p][bold]Citygentleman1968[/bold] wrote: The semi-final of The League Cup. Despite it's demise into random sponsorship names over the last few decades, this is still a major cup within England, look at the history, the previous winners. BCFC are in a major semi-final which still beggers belief and I still pinch myself to ensure I am not dreaming. For me whether we win, lose or draw tonight, the achievements to get this far is truely remarkable and nobody should ever forget the journey. We are a League 2 side going against the big-boys, don't ever forget that! - Whatever the outcome tonight and in two weeks time, the club, staff, players and supports can once again hold their heads up high, puff out their chests and be proud! Good luck to everyone tonight and for those watching in the ground, shout like never before, scream like never before and send the fright of a lifetime up the Villa![/p][/quote]I really can't 'top' that, except to say: GIVE 'EM 'ELL, BOYS!!! GABRIEL.NORDE
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Sheepish1 says...

Just heard that Villa are at full strength with both Bent, Benteke and Agbonlahor up front. I'd like to remain positive but really think the dream ends tonight. 3 quality players gonna take us down.
Just heard that Villa are at full strength with both Bent, Benteke and Agbonlahor up front. I'd like to remain positive but really think the dream ends tonight. 3 quality players gonna take us down. Sheepish1
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Rambo says...

Sheepish1 wrote:
Just heard that Villa are at full strength with both Bent, Benteke and Agbonlahor up front. I'd like to remain positive but really think the dream ends tonight. 3 quality players gonna take us down.
Lol what?

In all seriousness, what a moment for McHugh - just got in and seen the goals - what a header that was.
[quote][p][bold]Sheepish1[/bold] wrote: Just heard that Villa are at full strength with both Bent, Benteke and Agbonlahor up front. I'd like to remain positive but really think the dream ends tonight. 3 quality players gonna take us down.[/p][/quote]Lol what? In all seriousness, what a moment for McHugh - just got in and seen the goals - what a header that was. Rambo
  • Score: 0

1:15am Wed 9 Jan 13

garryrushworth says...

Just WELL DONE from all the BCFC OZ down under supporter club Ballajura where heading to Wembley
Just WELL DONE from all the BCFC OZ down under supporter club Ballajura where heading to Wembley garryrushworth
  • Score: 1

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