Aston Villa booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2016 with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday, and manager Unai Emery said his high-flying Premier League club have developed a big-game mentality.

Despite an impressive league form this season, Villa were not expected to have an easy game against the Championship side, given their recent record in the FA Cup, where they have lost each of their last eight matches.

Villa, who trail leaders Liverpool by just three points in second place in the league, have won the FA Cup seven times, but not since 1957.

“We played big passions, being mature, I think we are growing up our mentality in matches like that,” Emery said. “At the beginning, we were favourite to win, but difficult to face each match.

“We were being passionate and trying to keep in mind our game plan, and after that moment we reacted again, we pushed in the last minute because we took two or three chances and we scored one of them.”

Emery said Villa are trying to give themselves another chance at silverware.

“We were speaking before the match about the FA Cup … We’re speaking about our players, how much they were successful in this competition — not a lot! Only Emiliano (Martinez) and Calum Chambers won with Arsenal,” he said.

“A long time Villa was successful in this competition with seven titles. We are here trying to do another step ahead in this club, trying to play facing different competition and trying to be contending to get something.”

Villa next take a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton in the league on 14 January.

Source: Reuters

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