Villa v Sheff Utd: Lambert - We must earn the right to get through
Paul Lambert says Villa must "earn the right" to progress in the FA Cup on Saturday against Sheff Utd.
Boss Lambert is more than aware that the Blades will arrive in B6 this weekend with giantkilling aspirations.
But he hopes that the confidence gained from the Sunderland win on Wednesday will help see his team through to the fourth round.
Lambert insists that the Barclays Premier League festive programme has been "gruelling physically and mentally" for his stars.
For that reason, he admits he's pondering making changes, with several players eager to impress the gaffer.
He also confesses that he has one eye on the big top-flight clash against Arsenal.
He said: "The FA Cup is something you want to progress in.
"We want to get to the next round. We will try and get through.
"We are at home which is good.
"I never take games like this lightly. You have to earn the right.
"I know Nigel has not been long in at Bramall Lane. But it will be a tough game.
"There will no pressure on them at all. They will go out and play.
"We have to be right on it to get through.
"Nigel did well at Derby but he's at a different club now. It will be a tough match, no doubt.
"But if we play the way we did against Sunderland, hopefully we will go through. That win will certainly give us more confidence than we would have had.
"I thought we were excellent in the way we played at the Stadium of Light and I thought we should have won by more, with the chances we had.
"On the counter attack, I thought we were excellent. We thoroughly deserved to win the game.
"In this one, Sheff Utd will raise their game. Our stadium will be new to their lads. We will try and play our normal game and get through."
On the non-stop league programme, he added: "It's been relentless, physically and mentally. It's been really, really tough.
"The lads are fine. They know it's like that in the festive period. You have to come through the games.
"We will have a cup match now and then a bit of a break until the Arsenal game.
"The cup competition gives you that respite.
"In the back of the mind, you also know you've got a massive game a week on Monday. That's why the Sunderland game was vital to try to win.
"If I do leave some lads out due to a rest, they will be fresh for the Arsenal game.
"There's two ways to look at it. You put everyone in again and you then get injuries. We haven't got a big enough squad to do it.
"Some lads need games and we have a difficult match against Arsenal upcoming too the following Monday."
Go to full match coverage for Aston Villa 1 - 2 Sheff Utd (2nd January 2014) >
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