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Gaffer's verdict: Lambert heartened by relentless second half

AVTV reaction: Lambert and Agbonlahor on Newcastle defeat Stat Pack: Baker, Lowton and Bannan top match figures
Gaffer's verdict: Lambert heartened by relentless second half


Paul Lambert bemoaned the fact Villa "never got going" in the first half - but admitted he was encouraged after watching their "relentless" attacking display after the break.

Lambert was delighted to see the crowd rise to applaud the players off at the final whistle, despite the 2-1 loss to Newcastle.

He was encouraged himself with the effort and endeavour during the final 45 minutes although he is more than aware that his team must show that dynamism throughout from now until the end of the season as they look to move away from the danger zone.

He said: "We never got going at all in the first half.

"In the second half? That's the way to play football.

"The first goal was really disappointing. The second goal sometimes you can't stop them, it's a terrific strike but then it's an uphill battle. But second half I couldn't fault them.

"You can't play like we did in the first half and then play like that in the second half. You have to start like that. But we never started.

"The onus is on home team to get the win and you have to come out of the blocks, especially at home.

"If things don't go your way, people don't want to make mistakes, people want to play the safe pass.

"We have to come out of the traps. The last ones where we started were West Brom and Bradford. In those we started pretty decent.

"You can't give anyone a two-goal start. It was night and day - first and second half.

"I thought we were too deep in the first half. We were too deep and too reserved with our passing.

"In the second half that was totally different.

"Andi had a virus that dragged him down beforehand. It took the strength away from him. I wanted to ease him back into it.

"Him and Gabby came on and gave it a big lift. The crowd drove it on, the lads took the confidence from it, they got the goal. It just seemed relentless after that.

"And that's the first time I have seen a standing ovation when you have been beat, especially at home. I am not sure I have seen that. It was an incredible thing."

On the injury front, Lambert revealed Fabian Delph could be in contention for Everton while it's a waiting game with Richard Dunne who may have suffered a set-back from his groin/hip injury issues.

He added: "Fabian has a sprained ankle. It's the same ankle he hurt against West Brom and Millwall. He might train in the latter half of the week hopefully.

"With Richard it looks like he's got a setback. We will have to wait and see the next few days if that settles down again. He trained on Monday. But he came in this morning and felt something."

Pick up your tickets for West Ham.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 29th January 2013
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