Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has hit back at criticism from former players and urged the unconvinced Villa fraternity to give his unknown new signings a chance. Deadline-day deals for Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins were rushed through in order to boost Lambert's squad for the worrying relegation battle ahead. Some Villa old boys, including Steve Froggatt and Shaun Teale, have blasted the club's recruitment policy, claiming proven players were needed to save them. But Lambert has responded angrily, claiming ex-pros should reserve judgment until they have seen the former Clermont Foot midfielder and on-loan Tottenham winger in action.
Daily Mirror: Paul Lambert admits Aston Villa can no longer compete for players with the likes of Newcastle or even Stoke. The relegation-threatened Villans had a quiet transfer window only landing little-known French midfielder Yacouba Sylla, 22, for a fraction over £1million from Clermont and the loan signing of Tottenham winger Simon Dawkins, 25. Lambert explained he could not match many other clubs in the Premier League in terms of contracts or transfer fees. And the lack of mega-bucks prevented much needed experience joining the ranks as Villa eye a move out of the bottom thee at Everton.
Daily Star: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert admits his side are struggling to compete in the transfer market with the likes of Stoke. The Scot was only able to pluck French midfielder Yacouba Sylla, 22, for little over £1m from Clermont Foot and Simon Dawkins, 25, on loan from Tottenham on deadline day. And he revealed being able to pay mega wages is not something Villa can do - unlike many other Premier League clubs, including their Midlands neighbours.
The Sun: Paul Lambert has hit back at critics of his low-key January signings by asking: Who was I meant to sign... Lionel Messi and Xavi? Aston Villa's efforts in the transfer window were so far under the radar they barely registered a blip. QPR's Harry Redknapp was able to spend £12m on defender Chris Samba and also brought in Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend. Meanwhile, Lambo was trawling the depths of the French Second Division for unknown 22-year-old Clermont midfielder Yacouba Sylla. And he also borrowed 25-year-old winger Simon Dawkins, who has not even made a Premier League appearance for Spurs.
Daily Express: Paul Lambert has revealed the financial shoestring he is working on to try to keep relegation threatened Aston Villa in the Premier League. Villa boss Lambert had less than £2 m to spend in the transfer window and he denied that young French player Yacouba Sylla, who could make his debut at Everton today, even cost the club £1.7m.
Daily Mail: Paul Lambert says Aston Villa's lack of action in the transfer window was because the club cannot compete with Premier League rivals over pay. The Villa manager brought in French Ligue 2 player Yacouba Sylla for £1.7million and Spurs reserve Simon Dawkins on loan.
MLS.com: Perhaps the only person more shocked than San Jose Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop after Thursday's news that midfielder Simon Dawkins would be going on loan to Aston Villa instead of returning Stateside was Simon Dawkins himself. "Yeah, totally a surprise," Yallop told MLSsoccer.com of his reaction to Villa's last-minute move to bring Dawkins in on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. "For Simon as well. I spoke to him and he said he didn't hear anything and all of a sudden gets a phone call: 'You're going to Villa.'"
Birmingham Mail: Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins can give Villa the lift to drag themselves to safety. That is the verdict of claret and blue boss Paul Lambert, who has backed his new recruits to be successful.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has revealed his attempts to bolster Villa's backline by bringing in a defender were aborted because "the salaries were too high". Lambert was able to add to his defensive and attacking midfield options with the deadline-day captures of Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins. But he abandoned his search for a centre-half because the wage demands being quoted were out of the claret and blues' budget. Villa have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 46 goals, and Lambert was keen to bring in a new recruit.
Birmingham Mail: Andi Weimann has recovered from injury and illness to put himself in contention to start at Everton today. Despite suffering a virus, Weimann stepped off the bench at half-time to add urgency to Villa's play during the defeat by Newcastle, although he picked up a slight knock in the process. But Weimann is fit and raring to go at Goodison Park today. Manager Paul Lambert also has Karim El Ahmadi available after Morocco's involvement in the African Cup of Nations ended, while Villa's medics will check on Fabian Delph's ankle injury.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.