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Robinson eager to be hero and send Rovers to final

Blackburn ROVERS goalkeeper Paul Robinson is hoping to emerge a hero again tonight and lead the club to Wembley.

Robinson grabbed the headlines early last month when he saved two penalties in the Carling Cup quarter-final shootout with Chelsea to earn Rovers a place in the last four.

Blackburn, though, face an uphill task to reach the final as they trail Aston Villa 1-0 going into the second leg of the semi-final at Villa Park.

Boss Sam Allardyce yesterday stated he would settle for a spot-kick battle again, which would naturally put pressure on Robinson.

"He's obviously putting his confidence in me then, but I think we would take penalties," smiled Robinson when asked about Allardyce's comment. "Obviously going into the game a goal down means we will have done very well if we do take the game into extra time and penalties, and when you get to those it's a lottery.

"We did well in the previous round on penalties, so there's no reason why we couldn't progress again."

Although admitting such a scenario can go either way, Robinson insists he will have done as much homework as possible on Villa.

"We've a lot of sports analysis and video technicians who work at the club, and they'll give me as much information as they can," added Robinson. "Obviously I know certain players from playing against them for many years now.

"But for new players, we'll have videos and analysis on them from their previous clubs."

Asked as to whether he fancied his chances against Villa, he replied: "I'd like to say I'll be well informed."

Robinson is one of three players in the Rovers squad who has played in a final at Wembley, claiming a League Cup winner's medal with Tottenham Hotspur just two years ago.

Although some players are indifferent with regard to the Carling Cup and its significance, Robinson says it is an important competition.

"I don't think you can play down playing at Wembley and lifting a major trophy," said Robinson. "Nobody can ever take it away from you. That will always be with you for the rest of your life. That's what we're in the game for.

"Without a doubt it's the highlight of my career. You watch the FA Cup and League Cup finals when you're a kid, and you always dream of climbing those steps at Wembley," added Robinson.

El-Hadji Diouf and Morten Gamst Pedersen are back in Blackburn contention for the tie, although Lars Jacobsen (thigh), Vince Grella (thigh) and Jason Roberts (knee) all remain sidelined.

ASTON VILLA v BLACKBURN (LIVE BBC1 7.45)


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