thumbnail Hello,

"Serious words" from manager spurred side on to victory...

Aston Villa progressed to the semi-final of the FA Cup after beating Reading 4-2 at the Madejski Stadium in a thrilling encounter but hat-trick hero John Carew has admitted his side were struggling in the first half.

A brace from Reading's Shane Long was cancelled out in the second period by an Ashley Young strike before a Carew hat-trick sealed victory.

Speaking to ITV Sport after the game the Norwegian revealed that a stern half-time team talk from boss Martin O'Neill had helped Villa overturn the two-goal deficit.

"We were really struggling in the first half, then the gaffer [boss Martin O'Neill] gave us some serious words during the break," explained Carew.

When asked what O'Neill had said to the team to provoke such an improvement in performance, Carew smiled and said: "I won't go into it, but on the pitch you can see what happened, of course Ashley's [Young] goal was really important and a big boost and from then on the team had a great feeling that we were sure we would get the second goal."

Villa will now play at Wembley again in the semi-final and after losing to Manchester United in the League Cup final, Carew believes his side have added motivation to go on and book their place in the FA Cup final.

He said: "Absolutely [Aston Villa are more determined] we just want to get to the final again, now that we know what Wembley is about. Of course the experience there last time was not great but we have a great chance to get back."