Villa v Norwich presser: Lambert on Norwich, form and striking options
Check out the best bits from the manager's pre-match press briefing.
Match sure you watch the full television press conference with Lambert on AVTV.
Q] How much have you been looking forward this since May?
A] I've been asked that question before. It would be wrong of me to look at it as more than any other game. I've enjoyed every game I've had since I've been at this club, so it won't be any different for me. People will look at it and think 'it's Norwich and the time he had there' but that's not reakky something I've thought about to be honest.
Q] It was some achievement taking them from League One to the Premier League?
A] Yes but I think the lads deserve a bit credit for that. They are ones who went and played it and were with us for three years. The ones that left and the ones still there all played their part and pulled in the same direction. They probably never got the credit they deserved - the team.
Q] The Villa fans chanted your name on the last day of the season. You said it felt awkward?
A] It's uneasy, that. I don't like hearing any manager get criticised. It's a really tough job, a really hard job. Alex was doing his very best to get it going. It's never nice and it can happen to anybody, the criticism. It's never nice to hear it. But that's the job you're in, you know it can happen.
Q] With that in mind, you cannot afford to lose?
A] I don't want to lose any game, it doesn't matter who it's against. You don't want to lose any game. I've been in the game long enough to know that you've got to try and win as many games as you can. The Norwich game only has spice because I left. It's not something that I'm really worried about or anything like that, it's just another game. I had a great three years there and if people want to deflect on to something else then I can't help that.
Q] Are you confident that you can get goals with the strikers you have got?
A] I think we are creating chances to score. We should have scored against Tottenham with Christian Benteke's header. We had chances there and we had chances against Fulham to score. It's not about individuals, it's about the team. That's always been the case for me. Everybody is part of it and that includes Darren.
Q] Is Darren Bent particularly up for this because of his Ipswich connections?
A] I think everyone is looking forward. It's a home game. Everybody is looking forward to the game. It's a team game, I need everyone to perform.
Q] How much does it help that you know most of the Norwich players?
A] You know a good bit about the lads because the majority of them are still there from the three years we were there. But it's Chris Hughton's team and he's a fantastic football manager. He will mould them the way he sees fit. Ultimately, it's just another game probably for Chris and myself. For the Norwich lads I've not seen since I left it's maybe a chance to see some of them again and say hello, but ultimately we have to win. Aston Villa have to win.
Q] What was your reaction to them beating Arsenal last weekend?
A] I was too disappointed about losing to Fulham. It never crossed my mind. There's no point me looking at other teams. I'm just concentrating on what is happening at Aston Villa. That is my concern.
Q] Do you think Villa's performances have warranted more points?
A] Yes. It's an easy thing for me to turn around and say. But it certainly does because I think we're playing well enough to win, that's for sure. It is easy for me to say that and make myself feel good but I genuinely believe that we have been playing better than our points tally suggests.
Q] Is this proving a tougher job than you thought?
A] No. It is an absolute honour to be here, it really is. It is a privilege to do it because it is a massive football club and all we can do is our best. The lads are playing well enough to win.
Q] What do you say to fans who are worried by the league position?
A] They've probably got the same feelings as ourselves when you don't get enough points on the board. We're doing everything we can to win games. I think we are playing well enough to win and if everybody stays behind us we'll get there. That is a big thing.
Q] How much do you let the pressure of results get to you?
A] I love the pressure of football, I know that's the nature of the game that you have to get results. I tend not to get too caught up in things that I can't affect. I can only affect trying to win games on a Saturday, that's the job. I'll always do my best to try and make it work.
Q] What did you think of Norwich's performance against Arsenal?
A] To beat any big side is a huge achievement. Chris is a top manager and there's been some games where Norwich have been unlucky to get more points as well. It is a massive result for them.
Q] It will put a spring in their step?
A] I don't know. One thing you can never label them with is lack of effort. The crowd will come in their numbers because they have got a terrific following that go and watch them.
Q] Are there any injury problems?
A] Nathan and Ciaran are both still struggling at the moment. So we'll have to look at it. It will be more or less the same kind of squad as last Saturday.
Go to full match coverage for Aston Villa 1 - 1 Norwich (26th October 2012) >
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