USA Tour press conference transcript: Lambert and Weimann
The press conference took place on the fields of the Jeld-Wen Stadium.
Reporter: How much are you enjoying USA?
Paul Lambert: It's been hard because the travelling has been pretty long. The games have been good, training has been really fine. I am delighted on that aspect. But it's hard because of the travelling and the heat.
Reporter: Is this your first time in the USA?
PL: No. I have been before. I came with Celtic and Scotland.
Reporter: Are there discernible differences between soccer then and now?
PL: When I came here with Scotland it was in Washington and it was a full stadium. US fans have been watching it for a few years now. I think the standard is better now in the US. As I said the other day, I don't think the league should be underestimated. I think it's a tough league and I think the standard is getting better.
Reporter: What do you expect from the Timbers?
PL: I am not quite sure. Obviously the field is different from natural grass. They'll be used to playing on that here. It will be different for us. But we've been playing well.
Reporter: What do you know about the Timbers season?
PL: I'm not going to underestimate the game. It will be a hard game. And I know the crowd will be really on their side but I am looking forward to it.
Reporter: What do you know about the Timbers Army?
PL: I have heard it's passionate. That's normal. Every ground you go to, you get passionate fans. I am under no illusions about how hard the game will be.
Reporter: How many of your players will know Kris Boyd?
PL: Barry Bannan has. I think he's the only one. He'll know Kris from the national team. They know each other well, I'm pretty sure.
Reporter: What are your thoughts on the surface?
PL: It's not my way, artificial grass. It's not for me. I am a traditionalist and like a grass pitch. But it's different.
Reporter: What is the difference?
PL: It will be hard for us because we don't train on it and we don't play on it. It's something we have to go with.
Reporter: Heard Darren thinks he will be ready for Nottingham Forest, do you agree?
PL: If Darren feels okay, I will leave it with him. I won't put pressure on him if he's not ready. The main thing is that everyone is more or less ready for the West Ham game. But if Darren feels okay, I will run with it.
Reporter: Any news on Gabby Agbonlahor's scan results?
PL: Not yet. I am still waiting to hear how he is.
Reporter: Are you determined to improve things at Villa?
PL: That's the aim. That's any manager's aim to make the team as best as it can be. I have been delighted with the last few games. I think we've played well and the confidence is there, which is important.
Reporter: Is it a must-win or a tune-up for your team?
PL: We have been only back training for under three weeks. You don't get anything for pre-season games, it's when it starts for real. Then I judge it. Games at the moment are good to get fitness levels. That's what I view at the moment.
Reporter: Are you looking for anything specific from the Timbers game?
PL: Just to get into the mentality of trying to win games again. That was the thing, the confidence to build up which seems to be flowing at the minute, which is great from our point of view. I am happy with what's happened here.
Reporter: How are you going to get Villa closer to the top of the table?
PL: We have to try and win as many games as we can. That's what we will try to do. The game is about winning. If we do that, we will see where it takes us. But I am not going to put pressure on the team. They are under pressure as it is. The pleasing thing for me at the moment is we are doing really fine.
Reporter: Thoughts on the artificial pitch?
AW: We are not used to it at Villa. We have an indoor pitch at Villa and we've trained on it a few times in the winter but we've never had a game on it. It will be a new experience tomorrow.
Reporter: How do you get it right?
AW: You wear normal boots. You won't wear studs. We will get used it with the open training. We will be fine tomorrow.
Reporter: You and Nathan have a chance to impress with Gabby and Darren injured?
PL: If they had been fit, it would have been the same for both of us anyway. We need to show the gaffer what we can do in every session of training and every minute we're on the pitch. It doesn't matter if Gabby and Darren are fit. Obviously if they are both injured, we may have more game time but still we have to show we're good enough.
Reporter: Are you enjoying the USA?
AW: Yes it's been really good. It's the first time I have ever been to the US. I have really enjoyed it.
Reporter: What do you think about the MLS standard?
AW: The last two games have been really hard for us. The standard has been good. I am sure it will be tomorrow aswell.
Reporter: What are your impressions of Portland?
AW: It's nice. It's not as big as Chicago. But I like it. It's a smaller place but it's nice.
Reporter: What makes you think things will get better?
AW: We all know we are good players. Training has been brilliant. Everyone has been really confident. Hopefully we can keep that going into the season and play really well and move up the table.
Reporter: Has Eric filled you in about Timbers fan enthusiasm?
AW: I heard it's pretty loud.
Reporter: Do you think you can have a better season?
AW: Hopefully this season will be better for us. I am sure it will be. We look forward to it.
Reporter: What's the key to that?
AW: Obviously it's pre-season now. We have to work hard and be ready.
Reporter: Has it been confidence-building?
AW: We have had three games and won all three of them. So when you win games you get confidence from it. Hopefully we can win as many games in pre-season as we can. That will give us confidence when the season starts.
Reporter: How's your injury now?
AW: Yes it's fine now. I started training having only missed two days of pre-season. Everything is 100%.
Reporter: How important was it to be ready early into pre-season?
AW: Obviously it's a new manager so you want to show him what you've got as soon as you can. Obviously fitness-wise, missing one or two weeks in pre-season is a lot.
Reporter: What do you think of the fans in USA?
PL: They have been brilliant. We know Villa fans are really great supporters. It's been brilliant that they have been in America for us.
Click here to buy season tickets for the new term as Villa embark on a vibrant new era.
Adobe Flash Plug-in Needed
This website requires a Adobe Flash plug-in. Please download the latest version of the Flash plug-in by clicking here