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Villa v West Ham preview: Confident Lambert eyes six of the best

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Villa v West Ham preview: Confident Lambert eyes six of the best


Paul Lambert has backed his players to pick up the "five or six" wins he thinks they need from their thirteen "cup finals."

Lambert has seen enough from the performances against West Brom, Newcastle and Everton to know his team can push up the Barclays Premier League table in the coming weeks.

His belief is based on their forward prowess, led by attacking aces Christian Benteke, Charles N'Zogbia, Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor.

The boss knows the team need to tighten up at the back but he thinks that an all-round team endeavour is needed, rather than a defensive fix.

He doesn't go in for a "blame culture" and believes strongly that his side must defend from the front, the midfield and the back.

He said: "We need five or six wins. We are going to have to. The way they are playing just at the minute, they can do that. There's no grey area. You know what you have to go and do. There are 13 cup finals for us to play.

"They know themselves, we've spoken about it. They know exactly what they've got to do.

"It's never wavered, my belief, whether people have said things or not. I've got to have that belief with the way I think about the team.

"That's the belief we will get out of it. Everyone is focused on getting out of it and we'll do that to the end.

"Even though we've had some heavy knocks, the lads have kept their heads up and kept their dignity which I think is a great thing as well. But we have to keep going and get out of it."

Lambert certainly feels Villa's creative flair will serve them well in the run-in.

He added: "We're a threat, there's no doubt about it. Going forward we can create, definitely.

"But you can't just keep the pressure on the defence. That comes throughout the whole team. We have got to defend better as a team. But going forward we are threat.

"If we keep that level of performance the way we've been we'll be a threat. If the crowd stay the way they've been as well.

"We've got goals in the team, but you don't want to keep on scoring three.

"It's not just the defence, it's everywhere on the field of play. If you start to criticise one department of your side, then it doesn't go very well. As a team we have to do better defensively.

"If we can keep attacking the way we have done but defend better as a unit we'll have a chance.

"You have to take the game by the scruff of the neck and influence it.

"The last few games we have thought 'we'll have some of this'. The confidence is high at the moment.

"I think you have to keep the fans on your side too. They know as well we can create and score goals. I think that keeps them going."


Villa v West Ham
Barclays Premier League
Sunday February 10 - KO 1.30pm
Referee: Mark Clattenburg


Seats are still available.

You can contact 0800 612 0970, visit Villa Park/New Street to pick up or log-in to our online box office.


Gaffer's press conference - watch now
Pre-match show - watch now
Memory match - watch now


Ashley Westwood is a doubt for the West Ham game with a bug.

Paul Lambert revealed the central star has been suffering with sickness this week and could miss the Hammers clash.

Karim El Ahmadi and Fabian Delph should both be fine after shaking off knee and ankle injuries respectively.

El Ahmadi was subbed at Everton with the problem while Delph missed the Goodison Park game with his issue.

Richard Dunne is still "a long way" away from returning for Villa, however.

New faces Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins could both feature.

West Ham have no new injury concerns after their players returned from international duty unscathed.

Modibo Maiga remains on Africa Cup of Nations duty while James Collins and George McCartney are still out.


Villa will be wearing their traditional home kit of claret and blue.


Christian Benteke has scored in four successive appearances for Villa in all competitions.

Christian Benteke has ten Barclays Premier League goals this term and is the first Villa player to reach double figures in his debut season since Dion Dublin in 1998-1999.

West Ham are looking to complete the league double over Aston Villa for the first time since 2005-06.

Sam Allardyce's side have let in eleven goals in their last three away fixtures.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 8th February 2013