Villa v Newcastle preview: Lambert confidence of fortress feel
Paul Lambert wants Villa Park to be a proper fortress this season - and he's confident it will be.
Lambert believes the added experience in the ranks as well as the mental strength his young lions have gained over the past two challenging seasons will prepare the team for the B6 battleground.
He has real faith in his players heading into the Magpies clash - and that belief has only been boosted by the result at Stoke.
He said: "There's a different feeling about the place.
"I don't see the playing at home thing being a problem anymore - I certainly hope not.
"We are definitely stronger mentally and physically. I don't have any fear about our home form.
"I've seen Villa Park when it is rocking and if we can get that more times than not this season then it's one hell of a place to play.
"We have to give the fans something to shout about. It's a great pressure to have that many people watching you and knowing you've got to go and perform. The home fans want to see you do well. That's something we aim to put right.
"It's a big stadium and the fans will be a force if we can just give them something to get on their feet for.
"We've got plenty of players now who are used to playing in front of big crowds. The likes of Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole and Kieran Richardson - they've been there and done it.
"The younger lads are also more experienced now. They should be able to handle it. You have to deal with it.
"There are a lot of really top players there, no two ways about it. There's a lot more experience. But you don't knock the young ones because they're the future of it. That's the way football goes.
"Those young ones have certainly progressed quicker than you probably thought. Now you have to step up to the plate - that's the way.
"I think they felt it a bit last season - a bit of anxiety crept in. But that's normal if your home form isn't good.
"But even the younger lads are a couple of years into it now, so they know. There's a different feeling.
"I think we will be a lot stronger this time around. And you can certainly feel people are looking forward to the Newcastle game. The whole place is picking up on it.
"The Stoke win was great but it's only a start. People probably didn't give us a chance of winning there. I knew we were a good side that could cause Stoke trouble. We performed well.
"We've made a good start. Now you get on with it. The lads in training this week have been excellent. We go into this game with a lot of confidence."
Villa are in good heart ahead of the Magpies game but Lambert accepts that the Magpies will be a very difficult proposition.
He also spoke of his admiration for opposite number Alan Pardew.
He added: "I expect a tough game. They are a good side. They have a strong squad.
"I thought they were excellent on the opening weekend against Man City.
"Alan has a good team up there. It will be a tough game - we had tough games with them last year. It will be no different this time.
"The expectancy level at the two clubs is huge. Alan and I were taking about that last week. You have to be able to handle it.
"They've always finished strongly and they've always been up there. Alan has done a really good job there.
"I just think they're a good side. I thought they were a good side last year too."
Villa v Newcastle
AVTV MUST SEE
Paul Lambert press conference - WATCH HERE
Pre-match show - WATCH HERE
Seats are still available for the clash with the Magpies.
Given the 12.45pm kick-off, we advise you to buy in advance and get here early on the day.
You can purchase tickets over the phone at 0800 612 0970 and then collect from the Trinity Road Kiosk from 10.45am.
You can also buy through the ONLINE BOX OFFICE before 10am - or use our print-at-home system.
Alternatively you can come in and buy in person at Villa Village ticket office from 9am or New Street ticket office from 9.30am.
Phone lines are open from 9am.
Prices are £25 to £42 [adults], £25 to £42 for concessions, £17 to £35 for U18s, £12 to £35 for U8s and £35 to £40 for an adult/junior (U16) combo ticket.
Paul Lambert has revealed that Joe Cole and Carlos Sanchez will be in the squad for the Newcastle game this weekend.
Lambert is relishing having more options to select from, with Cole returning from the thigh injury he picked up on the tour of Texas and Sanchez impressing in training since his move from Elche.
Midfielder Cole came through 75 minutes in the U21 match on Monday.
Villa will be wearing their traditional home kit of claret and blue.
Villa have scored in each of their last nine home league clashes with the Magpies.
Midfielder Ashley Westwood racked up 15 accurate passes in the opposition half at Stoke - a joint-club-high figure while he also set up a goalscoring chance.
Andreas Weimann, who scored for Villa at Stoke last weekend, has scored the club's last two Premier League goals at Villa Park.
Four of Villa's last five Premier League goals at home have come before half-time.
Newcastle drew only one of their 19 Premier League away games last season (W7 L11).
Newcastle were the only team not to hit a shot on target on the opening weekend.
Supporters can look forward to a host of new features in the Newcastle edition of the Villa News & Record on Saturday.
The front cover of this weekend's issue is a throwback to the 2000-01 campaign, following on from the Parma pre-season friendly programme which featured a design from 1968-69.
To mark the club's 140 years in existence, every front cover will be a different design - each one based on iconic Villa programmes from the past.
It will build into an impressive volume which no Villa collector will want to be without, and inside each issue we will be taking a look at the original programme and its contents.
As well as going back to the future with our retro covers, there is plenty to read inside too.
The regular in-depth player interview is back, with Charles N'Zogbia discussing his long road back from injury ahead of the clash against his former club.
Ashley Westwood is first up in our new 'Question of Sport' Q&A feature, which looks at the sporting interests of Villa stars.
'The Unseen Villa Park' takes a look behind the scenes at areas of the stadium which are never seen by the public.
We kick off by focusing on part of the ground that is essential to the delivery of your matchday programme.
As part of our comprehensive look at the visitors, 'Shall We Sing A Song For You' examines references to our opponents in popular culture.
Saturday's issue looks at Newcastle's connections with the big screen, through a critically-acclaimed film and a well-known tune by guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler.
Our award-winning Villa Vault section will also include two new features.
140 Years of Villa will take a look, issue by issue, at significant moments and events throughout the course of our illustrious history.
And the Saunders Diaries traces Ron Saunders' amazing first campaign as manager in 1974-75.
Let's not forget the regular columns with manager Paul Lambert, skipper Ron Vlaar and former Villa striker Stan Collymore.
You can snap it up pre-match via our eBay account too - BUY HERE.
At £3, the Villa News & Record is great value, and for even better value, why not pick up one of our increasingly popular five-for-a-fiver programme bags?
Our subscription costs £66, with free delivery to the UK, £34 delivery to Europe and a £54 delivery charge to the rest of the world.
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There's more fun in store ahead of Villa's clash with Newcastle as B6 hosts another family funday.
Following on from the successes of previous fundays, another one is set to take place before the Barclays Premier League match with the Magpies.
Enjoy the build-up to the game by checking out a host of free activities in the Villa Park Indoor Academy from 9.45am.
Mascots Hercules and Bella will be coming along too!
Disabled entrance access at the front - or on the road side - of the Indoor Academy.
BetBright matchday odds:
Villa to win - 6/4
Villa's match console is the ultimate place to be to follow the game with Newcastle.
Tune in and be part of the claret and blue conversation.
You can join us from 9.45am.
Before the game starts, the match console will also contain pre-match analysis, interactive polls and a free video package previewing the game.
During the match itself, you can follow the action and interact with Paul Brown and Dan Harrison in the match console.
Paul and Dan will bring you blow by blow action as the game unfolds as well as the thoughts of fans logging-in from all over the planet.
After the game, the match console contains a game report, manager's verdict, stat pack and a picture gallery.
You can boost the coverage of the game in the subscription-only area of the match console.
Here, you can enjoy live audio commentary, with Jack Woodward joined by Tony Morley on the microphone throughout the 90 minutes.
Also, in our subscription area, you get a video interview with the star names from the game and extended highlights too.
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