Kevin Doyle says that he thinks Aston Villa players will care little about winning the League Cup on Sunday if they are relegated at the end of the season.
Speaking to The Buildup Podcast with Ladbrokes, Doyle said that the competition has become increasingly irrelevant over the last decade.
The former Reading and Wolves striker believes that, while both Aston Villa and Manchester City would be looking to win the League Cup on Sunday, it wouldn't define their season.
It's not a big tournament for Man City. They want to win it. They're in the final, but they're not going to be looking back on that in a couple of year's time.
With Aston Villa - to the owners, the players, the fans - it's all about staying in the Premier League.
The FA Cup is a different story. The Carabao Cup - it's used as a way of keeping lads who aren't playing fit. And that's the way it's been for the last 10 or 15 years.
Every year seems to be a little more of a pisstake, to be honest.
When those games are on Sky, you're barely watching it. You see the starting XI's and switch off and go on to something else."
However, Doyle said that the final could be a distraction for Aston Villa's players after a torrid run of results that leaves them just a point outside the bottom three
The former Irish striker revealed that he often looked to international breaks as a distraction when things weren't going well at club level. He said that Villa players would probably use the cup final in a similar fashion.
Having said that, he warned that a series of unfavourable results in the Premier League on Saturday might deal a psychological blow ahead of the League Cup final.
If they win it, it gives them a boost and a bit of confidence and then everyone in the place is happier for a week or two.
In training, instead of talking about relegation, you're talking about this week building up to the final and, if they do win it, next week everyone's full of beans in training.
You can use it as a positive, but they're missing a game in the Premier League this week now and if one or two teams around them go and get a result, they'll look at it and think they're right in it now.