Villa v Man City preview: Lambert - We are there to win
Paul Lambert reacted swiftly when the question came in during his pre-match press conference before the Man City game.
"It will be the Reading and QPR games you're concentrating on, not Man City?"
He responded rapidly: "There's no point playing Man City then. There's no point turning up. We may as well just give them it if you think like that."
That just about sums up Lambert's assertive attitude as his team head into another showdown in the relegation brawl they find themselves in.
Villa may be an emerging team but Lambert has plenty of football credit in the bank.
He knows that the game can throw up surprises and shocks, especially when the season starts coming to a close and results are magnified under the glare of victory and defeat.
He appreciates the quality of Man City - a "top side" in his eyes - but knows that Villa can emerge victorious in this latest encounter between the teams.
"I don't think we go into any game scared of anyone. We have to take the challenge on. We know how good a side they are but we're at home and crowd will drive us on as always.
"We're not going to set our stall up just because it's Man City and you think you are going to get beat. They are still a top side. They've just turned Chelsea over. They have some great players and are a top side.
"But you have to try to win the game.
"We have to go into it as if we can win it, there's no point in playing otherwise. We're certainly playing well enough to cause them trouble.
"You are there to win, regardless of whether it is Man City or QPR or whoever. We have to try and win.
"We want to win it. We are not going into it just to draw or anything like that. We want to win, the fans will make you drive forward as well. We are a threat going forward.
"Every game is huge. You can go right back to West Ham on the first day of the season. Every game in this league is huge and extremely difficult. You have to try and win and the only way to do it is to work hard and hope you get a break.
"When your lads go over that white line, you've got to trust them, which I do. They give me everything I got and I can never accuse them of not having effort and endeavour.
"You have to get a foothold in it. I'm a great believer in that in any game you play.
"We are at home and the majority of the crowd will be with us and drive us on and we have to get in amongst it and try and not let them settle."
It's not only his experience of the topsy-turvy world of football that makes Lambert believe an upset could be on the cards.
He knows his team are in fine form and full of confidence.
He also points to the victory for Southampton against Man City, when no-one gave them a hope in hell.
The Saints, as we know, went on to record a famous 3-1 win at St Mary's.
"I remember when Southampton beat City. On any given day you can do that, win a football match against anybody. Over the course of the season you might not be able to match it but on any given day you can win a football match.
"They know it's within their capabilities too, that's for sure. Even against Arsenal, we shouldn't have lost that game. At the very least we should have got a point out of it.
"There is a lot of confidence there in the camp. We are playing well enough to win games."
Villa v Man City
Seats are still available.
You can contact 0800 612 0970, visit Villa Park/New Street to pick up or log-in to our online box office.
AVTV DON'T MISS
Darren Bent is still struggling with a foot injury.
The City encounter could come too soon for Bent, who missed the weekend trip to Arsenal with a bruised foot. Vlaar also sat out the defeat at The Emirates with a calf problem but he was set to join in training on the eve of the big match.
Goalkeeper Given has recovered from a groin strain, while utility player Herd has resumed training after a foot injury.
Vincent Kompany and Maicon are both serious doubts for City, with calf and knee problems respectively.
GENTING BETTING GUIDE
Place £10 on Christian Benteke to score first and it will return you £85
If you think the first goal will be scored between 11-20min, place £10 and you will return £40
Place £10 on Andi Weimann to score first and it will see you return £100
A scorecast bet of Gabby Agbonlahor to score first with Villa winning 2-1, £10 on this bet would see you come away with a very good looking £1010!!
Christian Benteke hat-trick is 80/1, that means a £10 stake returns £810
Check out our FAQs on betting.
Don't forget, if you win your bet, cash payment is available after the game from the North Stand payout office, which is open an hour after the game finishes.
However you are also able collect your winnings online.
Good luck and let's hope for a great result!
Villa will be wearing their traditional home kit of claret and blue.
Villa are on the verge of 1,000 Barclays Premier League goals. They are one short of the milestone.
Villa would become the eighth club, after Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton, to notch up that total.
City have lost on just three of their past sixteen visits to Villa Park in all competitions.
Gareth Barry and James Milner could both face their former club.
Christian Benteke has scored more goals - six - in 2013 than any other player.
A Fiat 500 - kindly donated by Guest Fiat - will be in position adjacent to the William McGregor statue pre-match on Monday.
It's on hand to promote the prize opportunity which could see the car being won at the QPR game on Acorns Day.
Supporters will be able to donate a small amount to Acorns on the afternoon of the Rangers clash and be in with the chance of cracking the safe code to reveal the keys to the Fiat 500.
FIFA 13 GAMING HUB
The EA SPORTS special FIFA 13 gaming hub is travelling the length and breadth of the country visiting various clubs on matchdays this season - and Villa's turn arrives on Monday.
The giant game arena named 'The Dugout' will be at Villa Park's Trinity Road so fans can test out the new game.
'The Dugout' is an award-winning, state-of-the-art exhibition trailer from EA SPORTS - our official football action game partner - that allows visitors to trial the latest video games on High-Definition (HD) technology.
It has five individual gaming stations - including dugout-style seating - that can be used to play PS3 and Xbox, as well as two iPad stations.
And it will give you, the fans, the chance to play pre-match, test out your skills and then pop along to the big match at 8pm as Villa face Man City.
You can get in the mood for matchday by beating your team's opponent and predicting the results of other games too.
Villa's Holte Suite will be serving Bulmers Black Cherry and Red Grape at the game against Man City.
The tasty thirst quencher will be served on the day.
Bulmers is owned by Heineken UK, the club's official beer and cider supplier.
The Holte Suite is open on matchdays on a first-come-first-served basis to season ticket holders.
And, against City, it will open at 6pm.
If you are a season ticket holder, you could be enjoying a free pie on matchday.
All you need to do to claim your pie is register your season ticket with viagogo, the club's official ticket exchange.
Claim your free pie. You can collect your pie at the Villa v City game or the Villa v QPR game.
Go to full match coverage for Aston Villa 0 - 1 Manchester City (2nd March 2013) >
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