Daily Mail: Paul Lambert has spelt out the financial realities of life at Aston Villa, saying that signing the likes of Joleon Lescott and Scott Parker during the transfer window is the stuff of fantasy. Both of those players have been suggested as the ideal candidates to prop up a team that suffered humiliation in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final against Bradford City. But Villa's boss admitted that adding players of the ilk of the two England internationals simply was not on the agenda. Asked if such signings was a case of supporters living in dreamland, Lambert replied: "I think that's the reality of it. We can't do things like that."
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert admits the Villa Park faithful are in dreamland if they expect expensive, proven Premier League signings like Scott Parker and Joleon Lescott this month. As Villa prepare for today's crunch survival clash at home to relegation rivals Southampton, Lambert insists he is striving to bolster his struggling young squad. He is particularly looking to strengthen central midfield and central defence to preserve Villa's Premier League status and keep their Wembley cup dreams alive. But he revealed there will not be enough money to bring in a £6m player and admits the notion of recruiting names like Parker and Lescott is fanciful.
The Sun: Paul Lambert has told Villa supporters they are in dreamland — if they believe he can sign Joleon Lescott and Scott Parker. The England duo are just two of the names being bandied around. But under-fire boss Lambert called for a reality check ahead of today's crunch relegation clash with Southampton at Villa Park. And he admitted the days of owner Randy Lerner dishing out £18million for a Darren Bent-type signing are over.
Express & Star: Paul Lambert today warned Aston Villa fans they need to be realistic with their expectations during the transfer window as he looked to add physical presence to his squad. Villa have not signed anybody in the first 12 days of January with Lambert eager to boost his options with defensive and midfield reinforcements high on his wish list. However, it is understood he will only have about £10m to spend in January and when asked if fans were in 'dreamland' with talk of signing star players like Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, the Villa boss said: "Yes, money, I think that's the reality of it. We can't do it."
Daily Star: Paul Lambert has told Aston Villa fans to stop dreaming of big-name arrivals this month after admitting they can only afford to shop for bargains. Villa, beaten 3-1 by League Two Bradford in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final in midweek, are on the ropes. They head into today's crunch six-pointer with Southampton just a point above the drop zone. Two years ago owner Randy Lerner financed a £24m deal for Gerard Houllier to land Darren Bent, with the striker's goals firing Villa out of trouble. Lambert will get some cash to splash in the current transfer window, but says there will be no star signings this time around.
Daily Express: Paul Lambert says Aston Villa fans are in dreamland if they think the club can afford star names to dig them out of yet another crisis. Villa could be in the Premier League's bottom three tonight and that would come only four days after their 3-1 Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford City. Manager Lambert, having spent £20 million in the summer, mainly on inexperienced youngsters, now wants a minimum of two more players to prop up his struggling side. Both Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker have been linked with moves to Villa Park, but when it was put to him fans were in dreamland if they thought those two players could be bought, Lambert said: "Yes. Money, I think that's the reality of it. We can't do it."
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert will continue to adopt a positive approach with his players because hurling tea-cups is not part of modern-day football management. Villa have endured one of the most embarrassing months in recent memory with a string of heavy Premier League defeats and a 3-1 Capital One Cup loss to League Two Bradford. But Lambert, who motivated Norwich to two successive promotions before top-flight consolidation, does not believes in dwelling on negatives. Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has saluted close pal Stiliyan Petrov and admitted the captain's illness has placed a strain on Villa. Lambert spent time with Petrov - known as Stan - earlier this week and admits the midfielder's battle with acute leukaemia puts the club's struggles into perspective. "I was with Stiliyan for a few hours the other night and the loss of him to this club has been more than people can imagine,'' said Lambert. ''It's been huge but his health is the most important thing. "That type of guy puts everything in perspective, hearing what he says."
ESPN: Paul Lambert has spoken of his need to bring more physical presence to his relegation-threatened side - but warned Aston Villa fans not to expect to see any star names arrive in the January window.
The Mirror: Jay Rodriguez has vowed to heap more humiliation on Aston Villa and ease Southampton's own relegation fears at the same time. Rodriguez watched on TV on Tuesday as Villa suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to League Two side Bradford in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final. That result came on the back of Villa's dismal Christmas, which saw them lose 8-0 to Chelsea, 4-0 to Spurs and 3-0 to Wigan in three successive games over the course of six days. No wonder the £6.5million striker is relishing the prospect of facing Paul Lambert's young side in Saturday's six-pointer at Villa Park.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.