Saturday media watch [02.03.13]: Benteke in focus
Sporting Life: Paul Lambert has pinpointed Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke as a candidate for the PFA Player of The Year award shortlist. Lambert admits the winner of the prestigious award is likely to be one from Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez after their feats with Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. But the Villa manager named Benteke when asked for his list of potential candidates for the final list from which the winner will be decided.
Sky Sports: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes his striker Christian Benteke deserves to be on the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award. Lambert admits the winner of the prestigious award is likely to be one from Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez. But the Scot also reckons Benteke has claims after scoring 15 goals for Villa this season following his £8million move from Genk last summer.
BBC Sport: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says owner Randy Lerner stressed the tough nature of the job when he became manager last summer. The club currently lie in the relegation zone and face Premier League champions Manchester City on Monday.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has played down fears that Andreas Weimann could be on his way out of Aston Villa in the summer. The 21-year-old striker has yet to agree a new deal and there has been speculation that the terms of a new four-year contract are the reason an agreement is yet to be struck. Lambert insists talks are on-going and that the Austrian international is happy to stay at the club.
ESPN: Paul Lambert has urged his Aston Villa players to embrace the challenge of the Premier League survival battle - and not be daunted by it. Villa slipped back into the bottom three with their defeat at Arsenal last weekend and will see at least one of their rivals pick points up on them before they themselves go into their home clash with champions Manchester City on Monday night. Southampton face QPR today in a game Villa will monitor with interest but Lambert insists his young squad must see the bigger picture and relish the scrap.
BBC Sport: Manchester City hope to recall captain Vincent Kompany against Aston Villa on Monday, but Roberto Mancini admits injury could make it "difficult". Kompany hurt his calf in City's 1-0 win at Stoke on January 26.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Rafael Benitez says he has no regrets about becoming Chelsea's interim manager. The Spaniard, 52, replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November. However, Benitez has struggled to win over some fans, prompting him to criticise their lack of support.
Sky Sports: Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed claims by Roberto Mancini that Manchester United were 'lucky' to have a 12-point advantage at the top of the Premier League. Mancini suggested there was not a 12-point gap in terms of class between United and his Manchester City team. But Ferguson hit back with more than a touch of sarcasm.
BBC Sport: Gareth Bale is in no rush to leave Tottenham, according to former Spurs captain Ledley King. Bale, 23 has been described as the world's third-best player after scoring eight goals in his last six games.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.