Tim Waddington admits Colchester United have been handed a tough draw in the opening round of this season’s Carabao Cup after they were given a home tie against Aston Villa.

But the U’s general manager has welcomed their first-round meeting with the Championship side, which is likely to attract a bumper crowd to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Waddington told the Daily Gazette: “We’re really pleased with the Carabao Cup first-round draw.

“It’s a really tough one but you want to be drawn against a big, well supported club and we have just that.

"Aston Villa have a fabulous heritage and are a strong team - they’re not a team we have played competitively recently.

“We’re going to have to make the Community Stadium a tough place to visit as we did so often last season.”

Colchester will host Villa at the Community Stadium in August, after the draw was made in Thailand.

All of Colchester’s previous games with Villa have been in the League Cup - the last time the two sides met was a 2-2 draw in 1979 which the U’s lost on penalties.

Colchester were beaten 4-0 at Brighton and Hove Albion in the opening round of last season’s competition.

A total of 70 EFL clubs were in the draw, which is regionalised to minimise travelling time for supporters.

Seedings are decided by the each club’s finishing position in last season’s EFL, with the U’s an unseeded team.

The EFL Cup is now known as the Carabao Cup following a three-year sponsorship deal with the with the Thai energy drinks brand worth £18 million.

First-round ties will be played in the week commencing August 7.