Monday media watch [06.01.14 AM]: Midfield duo linked
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has confirmed he wants a "No.10"-style player to spark Villa after enquiring about Norwich's Wes Hoolahan and Porto's Steven Defour. Villa, who were dumped out of the FA Cup at home to League One Sheffield United on Saturday, have expressed an interest in Hoolahan and have also sounded out Defour.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert intends to use the fierce flak flying his way following Villa's latest cup calamity to inspire brighter days in the future. Lambert also insists the claret and blues still have plenty to play for this season despite being knocked out of both cup competitions.
The Sun: Paul Lambert believes a bit of risky business could help turn around Aston Villa's form. The frustrated boss is ready to send a 999 call to owner Randy Lerner to plea for the creative No.10 he believes holds the key to his season.
Daily Star: Nicklas Helenius was introduced as a forward sub and obliged with a goal 15 minutes later. Leandro Bacuna swung in a cross from the right, Andreas Weimann's initial shot was blocked but the ball fell invitingly to Helenius eight yards out and his low show fizzed beyond George Long.
Mirror: Lambert admitted the defeat underlined his 11th-placed side's lack of "creativity". He is desperate for a clever No.10 in the transfer window to provide the ammunition for Benteke and Co. and Lambert wants Wes Hoolahan from his former club Norwich to fill the void and get Villa firing.
Times: There was a slice of good fortune involved in the Sheffield United opener as Jamie Murphy's low strike deflected wickedly off Ciaran Clark, skipping over the wrongfooted Jed Steer. Nicklas Helenius was introduced as a 60th-minute substitute and within 15 minutes drove home a low strike from close range to equalise. It only galvanised the third-tier side, though, and six minutes later their lead was restored via Ryan Flynn's delicious curling effort inside the top-left corner.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.