Friday media watch [28.03.14 AM]: Man Utd previews
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert reckons it will be far from "plane" sailing for Villa at a potentially mutinous Man Utd tomorrow lunchtime. Utd's midweek derby beating at home to rivals Man City has cranked up the pressure on David Moyes ahead of the claret and blues trip to Old Trafford. According to reports, disgruntled Red Devils fans have paid for a plane to be flown above the stadium during the match pulling a banner proclaiming 'Wrong One: Moyes Out.' Lambert admits Villa could benefit from what he regards as excessive criticism of Moyes - but he admits it will be far from easy against the fallen champions.
Daily Express: Aston Villa's manager Paul Lambert has criticised Man Utd supporters for planning to fly their anti-David Moyes banner tomorrow. Fans angered by Utd's poor form under new manager Moyes plan to charter a plane to fly the banner, saying 'Wrong One: Moyes Out' over Old Trafford during the game against Villa. Lambert, who has had a tough time himself with poor results since joining Villa 18 months ago, believes Moyes's job is safe and fans are wrong to criticise him.
The Times: Paul Lambert, the Aston Villa manager, has branded as "extreme" plans by Man Utd supporters to fly a plane sporting an anti-David Moyes banner over Old Trafford during tomorrow's game. Support for Moyes is wearing thin among many fans and there were the first signs of open dissent against the Utd manager at Old Trafford on Tuesday as the Barclays Premier League champions slumped to a dismal 3-0 defeat against Man City. Lambert believes Utd supporters would be taking their dissatisfaction too far by resorting to such tactics.
Daily Star: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has said David Moyes will be going nowhere as speculation mounts over his job at Manchester United. Speaking on Thursday ahead of Villa's trip to Old Trafford, Lambert branded some of the criticism Moyes has endured as "way over the top", adding that he felt the plane and banner idea was "a bit extreme". Asked if Moyes would be keeping his job at United, Lambert said: "I would certainly think so. "I don't think Manchester United as a football club and an organisation will be panicked into doing anything."
ITV Football: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is confident Man United boss David Moyes will not be losing his job any time soon and has expressed his sympathy for his fellow Scot. There was yet another major low for United in their hugely disappointing first season under Moyes on Tuesday night when they were brushed aside 3-0 by derby rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League. Ahead of Saturday's top-flight clash with Villa at the same venue, the Red Devils - the reigning champions - are seventh in the table. And a group of Utd fans are reportedly trying to raise the money for a plane carrying a banner calling for Moyes' sacking to fly over the ground during the lunchtime contest. Speaking on Thursday at his pre-match press conference, Lambert branded some of the criticism Moyes has endured as "way over the top", adding that he felt the plane and banner idea was "a bit extreme".
Birmingham Mail: Marc Albrighton admits he is frustrated by his lack of starts. The winger came off the bench during the 4-1 home defeat to Stoke and says he had an off-day, along with the rest of his claret and blue colleagues. But the 24-year-old is hoping to be in Paul Lambert's starting XI for tomorrow's trip to Old Trafford - and atone for that performance. Albrighton has made just four starts and nine substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, as well as starting a Capital One Cup tie and an FA Cup match.
Clubcall: Marc Albrighton respects Paul Lambert's decision to use him as a substitute but he is frustrated by his lack of starts at Aston Villa. The 24-year-old faces an uncertain future at Villa Park as his contract is up this summer and he has struggled to force his way into the boss' plans with just four starts and nine substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, as well as a Capital One Cup start and an FA Cup outing. Albrighton also spent time out on loan with Championship promotion-chasers Wigan, which he enjoyed "massively", before returning to Villa "raring to go".
Birmingham Mail: Jores Okore is determined to make up for lost time at Villa next season as he nears his return from a severe knee injury. Paul Lambert confirmed this week that Okore could still figure for the claret and blues again this season if he is able to step up his recovery over the next month. But the 21-year-old Danish defender, who ruptured a cruciate ligament four games into his claret and blue career, believes the 2014-15 campaign will be when Villa fans will see the best of him.
Birmingham Mail: Andi Weimann is available for tomorrow's clash against Man Utd at Old Trafford after overcoming an injury scare. But Karim El Ahmadi is likely to miss the clash against David Moyes's men with an injury of his own. Both players limped off around half-an-hour into the 4-1 defeat to Stoke at Villa Park. Weimann had a dead leg and was replaced by Marc Albrighton, while El Ahmadi made way for Yacouba Sylla after hurting his thigh.
Clubcall: Paul Lambert has confirmed that Andi Weimann will be fit for Aston Villa's trip to Manchester United but Karim El Ahmadi is a doubt. The Villa boss has been assessing his options ahead of the lunchtime kick-off at Old Trafford on Saturday as the side aim to bounce back from last Sunday's dismal 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Stoke City. Striker Weimann was forced to limp off during the first half of the game with a dead leg, while midfielder El Ahmadi suffered a thigh problem. However, Lambert seems confident that Weimann will be ready to feature in the game at Old Trafford, but the outlook is not so good for El Ahmadi.
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BBC Sport: Manchester United's troubled defence of their Premier League title is harming the English top flight's worldwide brand, says the competition's chief executive Richard Scudamore. Under new boss David Moyes, United are seventh in a disappointing campaign. The 20-time champions are 18 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Sky Sports: Jose Mourinho has insisted he was only interested in taking charge of Chelsea last summer after being linked with the Manchester United job, and has given his backing to David Moyes to improve next season. Mourinho was one of the names tipped to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, but when the legendary Scot decided to retire at the end of last season he quickly announced that Moyes was his choice to fill the hot-seat.
BBC Sport: Hull keeper Allan McGregor is expected to miss the rest of the season as he remains in hospital after damaging his kidney in Wednesday's loss at West Ham. The Scotland international was injured colliding with Mohamed Diame to give away a penalty and earn a red card.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.