Martin O'Neill yesterday told Aston Villa supporters they had never had it so good. In contrast, Sam Allardyce turned on Blackburn's fans for failing to back their team.
Both managers had gripes going into the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, but one thing is certain no negativity will be found among the camp that lands a trip to Wembley.
Villa are hot favourites to reach their first final in a decade thanks to James Milner's goal at Ewood Park last week and O'Neill was firmly on the front foot. 'This is as good a footballing side as Villa fans have seen here for some time,' he said.
'Without question, they've had some excellent players over the last two decades. But I think this is as good a footballing side as they would have seen.
'Players such as James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing are getting better. The best is yet to come.'
Allardyce, however, has been stunned by the apathy which has seen just 1,500 Rovers fans buy tickets for the tie. He said: 'If the fans aren't as excited as we are then it's hard luck. They'll be moaning when we get to the final and they can't get a ticket.'
ASTON VILLA (probable, 4-4-2): Guzan; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Downing, Petrov, Milner, A Young; Heskey, Agbonlahor.
BLACKBURN (probable, 4-4-2): Robinson; Givet, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson; Nzonzi, Chimbonda, Emerton, Pedersen; Dunn; Kalinic.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
TV: BBC 1, 7.30pm (kick-off: 7.45).
El-Hadji Diouf and Morten Gamst Pedersen back to boost Blackburn against Aston VillaBLACKBURN ROVERS FC