CONOR Hourihane is desperate to win the Championship play-off final at Wembley with Aston Villa.
The Bandon man proved his worth to Villa once more with a telling contribution in their Championship play-off semi-final success against West Brom.
After his superb goal sparked a come-from-behind 2-1 win in the first leg on Saturday, Hourihane showed nerves of steel after this two-leg tie went all the way to penalties on Tuesday night. The game finished 2-2 on aggregate.
With a place in the play-off final – and a ticket to next season’s Premier League – on offer, Conor stepped up to score Villa’s first penalty, tucking the ball into the bottom right hand corner to give his side the early advantage. Villa went on to win 4-3 on penalties and will now face Derby in the Championship play-off final on Monday, May 27th.
Villa, and Hourihane, lost last year’s play-off final against Fulham – and the West Cork man is keen to erase those memories.
‘We had heartbreak last time. We’re desperate to go one better,’ Hourihane told Villa Club TV.
‘We’ve made it to the final. Now it’s more of the same. More hard work! We will have a few days off. But we have to get prepared and get right for the final.’
The Ireland international has scored ten goals for Villa this season, including eight in the league. He has never hid his desire to play in the Premier League and the 28-year-old is now one victory away from achieving that dream.