Downing: Villa switch vindicated

27 February 2010 01:50
The England winger joined Martin O'Neill's side in the summer after Middlesbrough were relegated into the Championship last season.[LNB]A host of Premier League clubs were interested in Downing, but it was Villa who stole a march to land the £12million midfielder.[LNB]And the 25-year-old claims his decision to move to the West Midlands has been justified as the Villans look to end a 14-year-wait for silverware when they do battle with Manchester United at Wembley this weekend.[LNB]"This is why I moved to Villa," Downing, who missed the start of the season with a foot injury, told The Sun. "I came for European football to start with and this is making up for it. [LNB]"We're fighting for fourth, we're in a Carling Cup final and in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. It couldn't have gone any better. [LNB]"But this is a big game - big for the club, big for the players."[LNB]Downing, who had the unsavoury experience of Boro's UEFA Cup final defeat to Sevilla in 2006, maintains that he and his Villa team-mates are keeping a level head in the build-up to the first domestic cup final of the campaign.[LNB]"We are trying to be as normal as possible but we are travelling down a couple of days before so it's not quite normal," the winger admitted.[LNB]"I've got maybe 30 people going - parents, uncles, a few mates, close relations. [LNB]"Manchester United being favourites suits us. [LNB]"We've done quite well against them this season. [LNB]"We've taken four points off them and not many sides have done that. [LNB]"I hope that it's at the back of their minds - that we're a team to be feared."[LNB]Fear is a word associated with England boss Fabio Capello, who is sure to be at Sunday's showpiece with a vast array of Three Lions hopefuls on display.[LNB]And Downing reckons there are more contenders for a place on the plane to South Africa in Claret and Blue than in Manchester Red.[LNB]"I get on well with United's England lads but I don't think there will be any friends on Sunday.[LNB]"Villa's England players could outnumber United's. Strange![LNB]"It's pleasing for the boss, the club and the area that we are getting noticed. It's a sign we are turning into a top team.[LNB]"It would be nice to get into the squad but Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard are in there - and I never thought I'd be competing with Gerrard."[LNB][LNB] Aston Villa v Man. Utd To Score in 90mins: Downing, S. 11/2  

Source: Team_Talk