This first part of the post isn't in the title. It's about my bluenose statement the other day. I didn't want to put it in the title, for some to suggest it was click bait. Got to be careful these days.

But, do you want Aston Villa to lose tonight or at the weekend? If you do, you can't be an Aston Villa supporter as far as I'm concerned. If you're not an Aston Villa supporter and you want them to lose, are you a bluenose? I think it's a valid question, this is the internet after all and I have a buddy that has spent years on a Birmingham City forum, going in twice a week, building up credibility, just for a laugh and because it's part of a long term idea he has.

It's not the same as wanting the Club to bring in all these new players and then after five games saying the Club should sack the manager because he's not managed to magic a turkey out of his arse. But it still baffles me. I want that one. No, I want that one. Toys out of pram. Rinse and repeat.

I'm making clear my comments about me saying I thought so called Aston Villa fans were clowns, because for me you can't want Aston Villa to lose. Again, you can't have it both ways.

Sure, predict it for a bet when we're playing Real Madrid in two years time and don't tell anyone, but you can't openly walk around saying you want Aston Villa to lose and then say you're an Aston Villa fan. Can you?

The League Cup

What you can say is that you don't much care for a competition and you can explain why. I like that you should have to explain. I like it because I'm sort of contradicting myself now because I love the idea of winning silverware. And in my lifetime I've only every seen us lift the League Cup so it's special, but I couldn't care less this season as of right now.

By seen, I mean in person at the stadium when we won. I was only seven in 1981, so you understand why I didn't see those times. In fairness, I was at Villa Park in 2001 when we, picked up the Intertoto Cup, but is it okay if I don't really count that?

That isn't to say that I think we should play the second eleven tonight but we can and if we did I'd understand. I actually think that players can play twice a week and I think for some, it's actually good that they do. I don't know what Aston Villa players that would be good for and I suspect for some it might not be great and I'd love us to have a good Cup run, but if we went out, I'd not be that bothered and as long as we win at the weekend, I feel it will be justified.

You might call that cheap. And maybe it is. But all things considered, I'd rather we were 100% for the weekend in all areas. Now, writing all that, I'll be well up for the match and I'll be hoping we win and I actually think we can. I mean, it's only Middlesbrough.

But I asked the question yesterday and I have my answer and it's also contradictory, or could be read that way. The question was, if you could be given right now the League Cup and finishing 10th or a finishing in the top six, what would you take? My first thought was finishing top six, because the chance in the play-offs is what it's all about. But, the truth is, I'd take the League Cup every day of the week. It's what football is about and I'd take a guarantee over a chance.

But today, right now and at this very moment. The most important thing is promotion. If you offered me promotion or the final of the FA Cup and the League Cup, I'd take promotion. It has to be and that is why, if the manager plays with the second eleven and if we don't win tonight, I'm not going to jump all over him because we didn't go through but I know some will and I know they'll have a great night because of it.

And yes, I think winning is contagious so I think there is huge value in putting out a really strong side and wanting to batter them. It's only Tuesday and plenty of time to rest up until the weekend. I think I've come to the conclusion that I think we've got enough quality players to have a proper go, even if we rested three or four from the weekend.

Bet of the day

In short, I think we've got a good chance tonight on paper and in my gut. And with Unibet here, you'll get 7/5 right now on us to win - almost double your money over 90 minutes. It's a good price.