Aston Villa’s in-form forward John Carew is hoping a trip down memory lane will inspire him to continue his goalscoring exploits against West Ham United tomorrow.
Carew can fondly recall scoring the winner against the Hammers on his home debut two season ago and will be aiming for a Villa Park repeat this weekend.
The Norway international is in a rich vein of form since returning from a long-term back injury and scored his 13th goal of the season against Everton last Sunday.
“It was my first goal for the club and it was a fantastic day for me,” said Carew, remembering Villa’s 1-0 win over West Ham in February 2007.
“If I can add something similar to that this weekend it would be brilliant.
“I remember scoring and we won the game as well so it would be fantastic to have a similar experience again this weekend.”
Carew’s first goal in claret and blue was confirmation that he could compete in the English Premier League after moving from Lyon in a swap deal with Milan Baros.
The 6ft 4ins targetman has remarked once again how much he enjoys playing in this country and dropped another hint that he intends to stay for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been fantastic,” added Carew. “
“When you are in one league and you come to another one they always play a different type of football with different ways of doing things even though it is the same game.
“It can take time to adapt but I’ve adapted quite quickly. The league has suited me well and fingers crossed it will continue that way.”
Meanwhile, Villa captain Gareth Barry has saluted the way Gianfranco Zola has transformed West Ham since inhabiting the Upton Park hotseat.
Zola brings the Hammers to Villa Park having lifted them to seventh in the Premier League table, with an outside chance of qualifying for Europe.
“He’s done a fantastic job,” said Barry.
“There was a bit of pressure on him but he’s not really spent a lot of money, he has just rejigged a few things.
“He’s got the players playing for him and he deserves a lot of credit for where they are at the moment. It’s going to be a tough game.”
Barry is confident Villa can end a ten-game wait for a victory in all competitions tomorrow afternoon, providing they tighten up defensively.
The England midfielder insists that the entire team must take responsibility for conceding 11 goals in the last three games, not just the back four.
He added: “We’ve been brilliant going forward.
“But you can’t just blame the defence for conceding six goals in two games.
“You have to look at it as a whole team unit and we’ll try to put that right.”
Villa have concerns over the fitness of strikers Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor, who both have hamstring problems, while defender Carlos Cuellar is also doubtful with a back injury.