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Villa v West Brom press conference: Lambert on Baggies battle

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Villa v West Brom press conference: Lambert on Baggies battle

Paul Lambert faced the media on the eve of the Baggies clash.

As expected, the press quizzed him on a range of topics, including the Manchester City clash, Gabby Agbonlahor's return to form and former colleague Steve Clark, now West Brom boss.

This is merely a summary of the best bits.

Click here for a FULL and EXCLUSIVE video of the entire press conference on AVTV.

Q] What's the injury situation?

A] Everyone came through okay at Manchester City. I think there were one or two stiff bodies but I think they are okay.

Q] Is it going to be up and down for Villa this season?

A] I hope not. But it's a young team and that's what happens with young players. It's exciting for myself watching them at the moment. You get heart failure like everyone else when you sit and watch it but I am really enjoying it. The players are too and so are the fans. Yes you're disappointed to be losing at certain times but it's certainly exciting for everyone to see.

Q] People are wondering which Villa team will turn up from game to game?

A] I don't think that with the effort. There was a mad 15 minute spell at Southampton but at one-nil we were looking pretty fine and at the start of the second half we could have had a couple more, with Christian and Darren. They equalised and then we had a mad spell where we couldn't get at it. But that's happens in football. But the response on Tuesday was phenomenal.

Q] With Gabby Agbonlahor coming back, you now have a raft of striker options?

A] I think I'd rather have it then not. It's my decision who I pick. I always select a team who I think will try and win a game. But I think you need competition and people breathing down your neck to stay in the team.

Q] What have you made of Gabby Agbonlahor?

A] I can only speak from my time here but he started pre-season fantastically well. Then he got an injury which was pretty severe for him. Then he came on against Newcastle and I think he did really well. The team were fantastic against Swansea so it was difficult to get him in. But he was fantastic on Tuesday.

Q] Are you looking forward to the derby with West Brom?

A] I can't wait. I know how important it is for fans - any derby game. They are vital. When it's your own derby in your own backyard you definitely want to win it. I know how important it is for the fans to get one over on their rivals. We will go and try to win.

Q] What's the latest with Stephen Ireland?

A] Stephen has got a little crack on his wrist in minute. All things going well, I think he'll be fit after the international break. It's not as bad as we thought it would be. He's in plaster at the moment. The fans are desperate for him to do well. You can sense that. He is a really good lad. He's been doing really fine and it's just unfortunate what has happened and he was in a lot of pain.

Q] Gabby Agbonlahor given you food for thought?

A] They all do. Every time I pick a side it is hard to pick a side and his performance the other night was exceptional. His two goals were fantastic and, if you get Gabby firing on all cylinders, then he is a handful.

Q] The Manchester City game shows you can beat anyone?

A] You've got to let it go. That's gone now. As soon as the game finishes you let it go. You have to work like that and it's a great opportunity in a derby game on Sunday to go and do it again. The atmosphere will be fantastic.

Q] Have you come across Steve Clarke before?

A] I played with Steve at St. Mirren. I made my debut at St Mirren and Steve played behind me. He is a really top guy. I got a really good upbringing for lads like Steve and the other lads who were there. They put me on a good road to a having an okay career.

Q] Are you surprised by his success?

A] Not really. He's his own man, he had a great spell with Jose Mourinho as well, and I'm pretty sure he's enjoying it. He will know the game inside out.

Q] Are you going to warn your players about staying emotionally-even?

A] Yes. You have a better chance of winning with 11 players on the pitch. I'm not an advocate of going to kick people. You try and play as strongly and fairly as you can but not over the top or anything like that.

Q] What's your message to the fans?

A] I know they will come and back us after the other night. You can sense the fans are up for it as they were against Manchester City in that weather and the long journey they had. They were brilliant against Southampton and the last home game against Swansea was absolutely bouncing. This will be better, this will be something I'm looking forward to seeing.

Q] What do you make of the cup draw against Swindon Town?

A] It's another tough game. You have to beat somebody to get through.We've got a chance. It's not going to be a foregone conclusion. I've been there a few times with Norwich. I know how hard it is going to be.

Click here for a FULL and EXCLUSIVE video of the entire press conference on AVTV.

By @AVFCOfficial 29th September 2012
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