Villa v Wigan media watch [29.12.12]: Boss on ice-cool mentality
Mirror: Paul Lambert insists he is hurting over Aston Villa's Christmas drubbings but says his adopted German attitude is keeping him calm. Lambert has had a tough time since taking charge in the summer. Villa had a nightmare Christmas, losing 8-0 at Chelsea - their biggest defeat ever - and 4-0 at home to Tottenham. They languish in 16th place with the worst goal difference in the Premier League ahead of today's visit by Wigan. But Lambert, recruited from Norwich, has managed to keep his cool - a trait he traces back to playing for Borussia Dortmund from 1996-1997, where he won the European Cup alongside the likes of Matthias Sammer.
Independent: You will never win anything with kids; the words of Alan Hansen uttered in August 1995 after Manchester United had been humbled on the opening day of the season by Aston Villa. Since Villa Park is once again the focus of kindergarten scrutiny, manager Paul Lambert might want to reflect on the inversion of Hansen's wisdom by Sir Alex Ferguson's "fledglings", who recovered to win the title in May. Lambert has entrusted the immediate future of Aston Villa to the Premier League's youngest squad, average age 23. The Boxing Day massacre by Spurs followed the club's biggest defeat at Stamford Bridge, 12 goals in two coruscating matches. Today Villa host Wigan, whose own run of just four points from the past nine games following the victory at Spurs on the first weekend in November has resulted in their slide into the Premier League dead zone.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert is hurting inside yet to the naked eye it would be hard to believe. The Villa manager's cool persona hardly reflects that of a man who has just witnessed two of the most crushing defeats in the club's recent history. Today his side take on Wigan Athletic in a must-win clash and Lambert has revealed how his level-headed approach to management is the only way he knows how to succeed.
Daily Star: Paul Lambert insists he will not panic despite his Villa side conceding 12 goals in Christmas week - and it is all thanks to the Germans. The Villa Park boss has consistently kept a level head during his time at the club. And he has revealed his spell at Borussia Dortmund, where he won the Champions League in 1997, made him the man he is today.
Daily Mail: Paul Lambert has refused to blame Aston Villa's youngest-ever side for the club's recent beatings, saying the club's experienced players have done no better. Villa have conceded 12 goals in their past two games and are in desperate need of a return to winning ways against Wigan on Saturday. Lambert makes no apologies for looking up the Premier League table, rather than down it, despite the fact that Villa have let in more goals than anyone else and are the joint lowest scorers. But he remains committed to the policy of blooding youngsters - the current average age of Villa's team is 23 - and he is remaining true to his recruitment policy.
Daily Express: Paul Lambert is refusing to panic as struggling Aston Villa begin a critical run of games against relegation-threatened Wigan. Lambert agrees that Villa, after conceding 12 goals in successive thrashings by Chelsea and Spurs, must beat Wigan, who are on a bad run of their own.
The Scotsman: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists there is no point dwelling on his side's nightmare start to the festive period as they aim to get back on track in today's crucial home clash against fellow strugglers Wigan. Villa were comprehensively brushed aside 8-0 at Chelsea last weekend - their biggest-ever defeat in the Barclays Premier League era - before being outplayed 4-0 at home by Tottenham on Boxing Day. The double whammy, which came after a solid six-match unbeaten run that included a 3-1 win at Liverpool, leaves Villa in 16th place in the table at the halfway stage of the season, just three points above this afternoon's opponents, Wigan. But Lambert, as positive as ever, insists the only way is forward.
Irish Independent: Richard Dunne's injury-plagued season is set to turn around - with the Ireland defender due to return to first-team action in February. The 33-year-old was in Philadelphia last week for a third operation on the groin injury which has prevented him from kicking a ball since Ireland's final Euro 2012 game, against Italy, last June. Following surgery, Dunne was told he would be back training in three weeks and ready to play in six weeks.
Daily Star: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has told his side they must create their own luck if they are to get out of trouble. The Latics have suffered narrow festive defeats to Everton and Arsenal after dubious penalties were awarded against the relegation-threatened team. And Martinez is hoping for more luck from the match officials as Wigan start the second half of the campaign at fellow strugglers Aston Villa.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.