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Hourihane hailed as 'a wonderful example to the younger players' by Villa coach

The Ireland midfielder will start for his side in tonight’s Carabao Cup meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane.
Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane.
Image: Nick Potts

CONOR HOURIHANE WILL aim to maintain his good goalscoring form in the Carabao Cup when Aston Villa aim to advance to the quarter-finals.

A place in the last eight will be at stake when Villa host Wolverhampton Wanderers this evening (7.45pm).

Despite making three consecutive Premier League starts for his club, Hourihane was then left out for last weekend’s 3-0 defeat away to champions Manchester City.

However, Villa boss Dean Smith has confirmed that the 28-year-old Corkman will return to his midfield when Wolves visit Villa Park tonight.

Hourihane scored twice when Villa recorded a 6-1 second-round win against Crewe Alexandra. He was also on target in the 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in the third round of a competition that Villa last won in 1996.

“He’s always ready,” Villa assistant coach Richard O’Kelly said of Hourihane, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail. “I can’t speak highly enough of him, he’s the ultimate professional. He’s ready to play.

“If you say to him after 90 minutes that there’s another game tomorrow, he’d play. He’s always ready — a wonderful example to the younger players.”

Since his move from Barnsley in January 2017, Hourihane has chipped in with 25 goals and 18 assists in 119 appearances as an Aston Villa player.

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He won his 15th Republic of Ireland senior cap in the goalless draw against Georgia earlier this month, before being dropped to the bench for the 2-0 defeat to Switzerland. 

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