Aston Villa match-winner Rudy Gestede was delighted to have been the difference as Tim Sherwood’s side beat Birmingham City 1-0 in the League Cup.
Gestede, who moved from Blackburn Rovers during the close season, struck his second Villa goal – and first at Villa Park – with a thumping header on Tuesday, sealing their fourth-round place.
Victory is the first for Sherwood’s side since the last round of the cup competition, ending a run of three matches without a win in the Premier League.
“It was a tough game today,” Gestede told Sky Sports. “It was important to get the win for our confidence because we haven’t started the season very well.
“The pressure was okay, we knew it was a big game but it’s still a football game and we needed to enjoy it. In the second half we tried to get the ball more and stretch them.
“We needed the win tonight, it was good for the fans and it was good for us – Liverpool [at the weekend] will be a tough game but we will stay focused and carry on this form for that game.”
Sherwood was quick to praise the impact of half-time substitute Jack Grealish as Villa produce a much better second half to secure their progression.
“We came here on a hiding to nothing tonight,” he said. “I was proud how we went about it, we tried to play two different ways.
“In the first half we wanted to go very direct and in the second half to get between the lines and they couldn’t cope when Jack Grealish got between the lines.
“We always want to play fast flowing football but we can’t always do that.”