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Reading v Villa preview: Lambert hails team's courage and desire

Reading v Villa team news: Vlaar could return but El Ahmadi doubtful Reading v Villa media watch [08.03.13 PM]: Lambert on run-in
Reading v Villa preview: Lambert hails team's courage and desire


Paul Lambert believes his players have the "courage and desire" to emerge from their relegation fight in the next ten games.

Lambert has pinpointed those two traits as vital for any team looking to be successful.

And the boss thinks his claret and blue camp have them in abundance as they go in search of three points against Reading on Saturday.

He said: "It will be edgy for a lot of them. You need courage. You need courage to play with the ball.

"We will try and play the game and not the occasion.

"If you get caught up in the occasion it can certainly hurt you but we are not lacking in confidence or any courage to compete with teams.

"The confidence is there. I don't need to lift them. I can see it in training and last few games.

"It doesn't look like a team that is frightened of it. That is the pleasing thing.

"You don't sense any trepidation going into any game. They seem ready for it.

"Any game you have to earn the right, get a foothold in it, and then your quality starts to come through. They seem to be ready for it.

"There are 30 points to play for. The pleasing thing is we are playing really well and just need to turn performances into results.

"We deserved something from Arsenal and a mistake cost us against Man City when we gave a good account of ourselves. Performance-wise I can't ask for anymore.

"This Reading match is a game we can go into with confidence over the last few games.

"The last few games we've been playing decent football and have kept our confidence intact.

"Everyone will be saying the same but if we keep the enthusiasm and drive up, we will hopefully win.

"Desire is vital too. I don't think you can overstate it. You've got to have that desire and want to win. That will hopefully take you a long way.

"There are is not much between bottom to middle of the table. There are 30 points still to play for.

"I do believe we will be fine if keep playing the way we are.

"We have given away too many two-goal leads. There are not been too many times when I've come away thinking we are miles short of it. We are all in it together."


Reading v Villa
Barclays Premier League
Saturday March 9 - KO 3pm
Referee: Lee Probert


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Pre-match show - watch now
Gaffer's press conference - watch now
Memory match - watch now


Ron Vlaar is in line for a return to the Villa side for the crucial Barclays Premier League showdown against Reading.

Manager Paul Lambert confirmed Vlaar could feature at the Madejski Stadium after recovering from a calf problem.

The Dutch defender has trained this week and could get the green light to face the Royals.

But the clash will come too soon for Darren Bent, who is still recuperating from a foot injury.

And there is also a doubt over Karim El Ahmadi after the Moroccan midfielder injured his ankle.

Fabian Delph is suspended for the game, as well as the next one against QPR.

Goalkeeper Stuart Taylor will again start for Reading against his former club as Adam Federici has a sprained ankle.

Jimmy Kebe is a fitness doubt, while striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is serving a three-match suspension.


Villa will be wearing their traditional home kit of claret and blue.


Villa have won eight of the nine league meetings between the clubs.

Christian Benteke's 80th-minute winner in November's reverse fixture lifted Villa out of the bottom three.

Reading's only league victory over Villa came in February 2007 when Steve Sidwell scored twice in a 2-0 home win.

Reading have suffered three consecutive defeats, having previously gone four games unbeaten.

Villa are one short of becoming the eighth team to score 1,000 Premier League goals.

Charles N'Zogbia could make the 200th league start of his career.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 8th March 2013
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