Villa v Sunderland training pix: Lambert senses motivation
Images from pre-match work at Bodymoor Heath.
28th Apr 2013
Villa v Sunderland training pix: Lambert senses motivation

Paul Lambert worked hard with his players on the eve of the Black Cats game - but stressed he's had no need to motivate them.

Check out our exclusive picture gallery from pre-match training.

Villa are two points ahead of Wigan and still very much in touch with Newcastle, Sunderland, Norwich, Southampton and Stoke above them in the Barclays Premier League table.

Lambert's Lions can send out a strong message of intent with a win over Paolo Di Canio's side on Monday.

For this reason, Lambert insisted his troops are ready for the battle ahead.

He said: "You don't need to lift the lads. That's for sure.

"They know what's at stake. I don't need to motivate them."

Lambert also dismissed the Di Canio factor ahead of the Monday Night Football clash, proclaiming players as far more important than managers.

He continued: "You play the game and not the occasion. The manager can only help so much.

"If we concentrate on the good things we've been doing of late, it doesn't matter who's standing in the dugout areas.

"It's the players. They are the ones who play the game. They are the most important people. We have been playing very well."

Lambert also hailed the hunger in his squad, with a full complement of players seemingly ready for the game, the likes of Joe Bennett and Ciaran Clark taking part in preparation work at Bodymoor Heath.

He added: "You need everybody. You need the lads playing, on the bench and on the fringe of things.

"Ciaran has been unlucky with his shoulder and so has Karim to be fair. He was away at the Africa Cup of Nations and then hurt his knee at Everton.

"The two did really well when they came on against Man Utd."

Check out our exclusive picture gallery from pre-match training.

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