Fabian Delph: Aston Villa will be 'a different animal next season'

Fabian Delph competes with Arsenal's Mesut Ozil at Wembley
Villa's 4-0 loss was the heaviest FA Cup final defeat in 21 years, since Chelsea lost by the same score in 1994

Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph is promising that the beaten FA Cup finalists will re-emerge "a different animal next season".

The 25-year-old England midfielder said he was as disappointed as anybody by Villa's poor show in Saturday's 4-0 thumping by Arsenal at Wembley.

But he said: "We'll strengthen, most likely, and have the mentality to push on from this experience.

"I'm 100% certain we'll be a different animal next season."

Delph admitted that he felt for the travelling Villa fans that saw their team so badly outplayed on the day at Wembley, in stark contrast to the performance they had witnessed when Liverpool were well beaten in the semi-final on the same stage just six weeks before. But he was quick to point out just how well Arsenal played.

Villa so close to the drop
Aston Villa finished precariously in the Premier League, just one place away from the drop, three points clear of trouble, having won six of their their 13 Premier League matches under Tim Sherwood, following his appointment to replace the sacked Paul Lambert on 17 February.

"I'm disappointed not to win for our fans as they were brilliant," he told BBC WM 95.6, "but I'm sure they'll be happy with the progress we've made over the past few weeks.

"It was a hard task in the first place. I don't think many gave us a chance, but the better team won on the day.

"They're a squad full of athletes, all internationals. They came out of the traps firing and we couldn't get into our stride.

"It was a proud moment to lead the team out, having watched the FA Cup as a boy and I'll still have great memories of our Cup run this season. But I've just got to live with it now.

"And, all in all, for us to be safe and reach the Cup final we'd have probably snapped your hand off at the start of the season."

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