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Tom Fox hopes Aston Villa FA Cup final appearance start of something big

And Fabian Delph scored Villa's second as they came from behind to win 2-1 and reach the final
Image: And Fabian Delph scored Villa's second as they came from behind to win 2-1 and reach the final

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox is hopeful the club's run to the FA Cup final will mark the start of a rise back to the big time.

Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday and they will be back at the national stadium on May 30 to face Arsenal, looking for their first silverware since winning the League Cup final against Leeds United in 1996.

Fox joined Villa from the Gunners, where he was chief commercial officer, last summer and, although insisting the club have a long way to go after their battles with relegation, he hopes their struggles are nearing an end 33 years after they were crowned European champions.

He said: "This is something which can create a positive atmosphere and blows through the negativity and clears it out.

"I hope it is the beginning of something great. If we play the way we played on Sunday I think we'll have a chance.

"Here we are heading into a final with another great club. That's the company Villa needs to keep and hopefully where we can put the club.

"We have a lot of work to do, I have been very honest about that. We have a lot of work to do to put the club back into a place where this is a thing we can do on a much more regular basis.

"(FA chairman) Greg Dyke made a speech before the game and I wish all of our fans could have heard it.

"He talked about the history of Liverpool and Villa, seven FA Cups apiece all the semi finals we've been in and he talked about the club in a way the fans still see the club and a way we want people to see it."

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Reaction from Wembley as Aston Villa produced a stunning fightback to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley and reach their first FA Cup final for 15 years.

Victory in the final would put Villa into the Europa League but Fox is not putting any focus on a possible European campaign quite yet.

He added: "It could be great, I wasn't envisaging it that way. I thought we'd build to it more slowly but the thing would be winning the FA Cup.

"It would be such a positive emotional driver for what we want to do. I am more focused on that than what it means for Europa League qualification."

Chairman Randy Lerner was unable to make the game after his aunt died but he will be at Wembley for the final.

Fox said: "He had a family bereavement. He has a very small family and his mother's sister passed away and he wasn't able to make it.

"What does he think about it? He's ecstatic, I have emails on the phone. He will be here for the final. He was pretty upset he couldn't be here."

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