Step on the Gaz
PUBLISHED: 18:23 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 24 August 2010
GETTING drawn against Aston Villa is a fantastic tie for the club, particularly as this is only the second time in my time at QPR that we've been in the hat for the third round. On that occasion we went out against Manchester City and we've got Premier League opponents again...
GETTING drawn against Aston Villa is a fantastic tie for the club, particularly as this is only the second time in my time at QPR that we've been in the hat for the third round.
On that occasion we went out against Manchester City and we've got Premier League opponents again, but I feel we're much better equipped to progress and we'll be going to Villa Park to win.
They'll certainly put a strong side out because winning the competition means European qualification, but it's really exciting and the club deserves it.
Hopefully this is a sign of things of come and will be the first of many trips up to Villa in the not too distant future.
It would have been nice to be drawn at home, partly for the fans, but also because our new signings have settled in really well at Loftus Road and we would have fancied our chances even more.
Emmanuel Ledesma can only blame himself for getting sent off on Saturday because we told him at half-time to watch himself on his yellow card, and five minutes later he was off.
It's a steep learning curve and part of adapting to the English game is getting used to the referees and understanding that they're maybe not as lenient as they are in Italy.
Emmanuel's got that Latino, South American flair about him but with that comes a bit of temperament. We don't want to take away any of his exuberance because then we'd lose something from his game.
In a strange way it was probably a good thing that it happened on Saturday, getting it in early so he can learn from it and move on.
Emmanuel's got a huge amount of talent, he's going to be a target from now on and he'll probably upset a lot more referees, but as long as he keeps banging in the goals we won't mind too much.
It's a sign of how strong our squad is now that we have three players going off on international duty this weekend.
Damien Delaney has been called up by Ireland, Kaspars Gorkss will represent Latvia and Daniel Parejo has been making waves back home and has been selected for Spain's under-21s after playing for us.
The worry is that they'll come back injured but that's the price you pay for having top-class players at the club.
We've got two weeks until our next league game but then they come thick and fast with three games in a week.
It's for exactly that reason that we've got a squad of 24 players and we'll be looking to make full use of that by making some changes for each game.
I'm delighted to see Akos Buzsaky back in action after his ankle injury. He did well in the reserves on Tuesday and could be in contention to play against Southampton a week on Sunday.