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Tottenham v Villa press conference: Gaffer on Spurs encounter

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Tottenham v Villa press conference: Gaffer on Spurs encounter

Paul Lambert faced reporters in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Tottenham.

Please find below the collected best bits from his preview with the media .

Click here to watch the FULL television briefing with Lambert on AVTV.

Q] A lot was made about Darren Bent coming on to score?

A] I think I said after the game that we need everybody. It's not just 18 guys. We need everybody at the football club to pull the same way. If you have that and the collective spirit there, that will take you a long way. Darren's goal was brilliant and I said after the game there was no problem. There's still no problem this week whatsoever. My opinion hasn't changed. He's still a world-class finisher.

Q] Response you hoped you would get from Darren?

Absolutely. Anytime you go on the field of play, whether you are starting or coming on, you have got team-mates you don't want to let down as well as 40,000 you have watching you. It's the professional thing to do. You look at some of the best players in the world - they have been left out before. It happens to everybody. I just pick a team which I think might win a game.

Q] Big derby didn't faze youngsters like Matt Lowton and Joe Bennett?

A] If you are talking about those two players, they don't seem fazed at all. They have played a lot of games with Sheffield United and Middlesbrough so I don't think playing in front of big crowds will faze them.

Q] Were you surprised by Tottenham's result last week?

A] There's not many teams who go to Old Trafford and beat them [Man United], that's for sure. It's a massive result for them. Andre has gone in there after Harry Redknapp and it was a massive job for someone given his record. The last few games Spurs have been going really great. That shows you the magnitude of the job we've got.

Q] Do you admire Andre Villas-Boas for taking that job after Harry Redknapp?

A] Absolutely. When you follow somebody like Harry it's a big thing. I spoke to Andre a few times when he was at Chelsea. He's not a novice, he's won the Europa League with Porto. He has won some big trophies so I'm pretty sure he could have handled it.

Q] Does he make you feel old?

A] What is he, early 30s? It's great. I'm only 43 myself and I never stop learning. We get on not too bad.

Q] Exciting prospect gathering together a squad of young, untested players?

A] There is a balance. But even though they are young, they've played a lot of games in their own respective teams. Of you are going by Championship or League One football, these are tough leagues. But these lads are battle-hardened. They know what it is like to play proper football. You get great satisfaction of young lads having great careers. There is nothing better than seeing players hitting the heights you think they can. If they can keep going the way they are going, they will have really big careers.

Q] Do they need a few wise heads around?

A] I think they will learn from their mistakes and the type of players you come against week in and week out are genuinely world-class players. You know yourself you won't get time to really make a mistake. If you make a mistake, you do your utmost to make sure you don't make it again. I think that's a big learning curve for them, if they make a mistake, they can be punished.

Q] Tottenham is another very different test. All part of the learning curve?

A] They have earned the right to play there so it is not something they should be frightened by. They should not go there with any trepidation. If I think they're good enough, then I'll throw them in. I've always been like that. If you're good enough and you're young enough, go and show what you can do and they will thrive on it. Tottenham are a top side. I thought they were a fabulous side last year as well. Even this year, they've come up with some brilliant results. It's a massive game or us but like any game it is one we will go there and try to win.

Q] Will they thrive off the confidence of their win over Manchester United?

A] They will be confident. I know they had a game last night and maybe one or two might come back. But they are still a strong side. The crowd will be on their side and they need to make the running but we will be dangerous ourselves.

Q] Nice opportunity for Bent going back to Spurs?

A] Going back to your old clubs, you always think there is something to prove. But he's got nothing to prove to me. I know exactly what he can do. I know his goalscoring record and everything like that. But as I said, I pick a team to try and win us the game. That is my job.

Q] Any injury concerns?

A) Everybody is really fine at the minute.

Q] Could you benefit from Spurs having a long trip to Greece?

A] No. The crowd can lift you as well. The crowd can get you through games if you think you are a bit fatigued. No, I don't think that will be much of a difference

Q] They have plenty of width from Bale and Lennon.

A) We have to rise to it, yes. The lads have to be confident themselves that they can compete against them. I won't send them there out there with any fear.

Q] You've been through the full range of emotions in the last three games.

A] I don't know if my heart will take that sort of thing! How many games have we played? 54 or something?! That's football. You go with the emotion and adrenalin and I won't change from that. That will be me. Coming to watch us at the minute is exciting. They are young and the enthusiasm is really good.

Click here to watch the FULL television briefing with Lambert on AVTV.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 5th October 2012
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