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Stoke v Villa preview: Lambert - We need to be 100% at it

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Stoke v Villa preview: Lambert - We need to be 100% at it


Paul Lambert has called for his team to be "100% at it" against Stoke - after admitting the lads have dropped below that in the last two defeats to Fulham and Man Utd.

Boss Lambert insists his team cannot afford anything less than that maximum percentage if they are to get back on track at the Britannia Stadium.

He felt his team - after an impressive start - "didn't lay a glove" on the Red Devils in the previous encounter and now wants a high-tempo approach against the Potters.

He said: "We are a good side when we're 100% at it.

"We can't afford to be 90% on our game. We aren't that type of team.

"We have to be bang at it - I'm talking about enthusiasm, energy, drive. That's when we are a right good side.

"We have to get that back and not accept the last two performances.

"I just think as a team we haven't performed in the past couple of matches.

"We have to get that right back on track, starting on Saturday.

"The fans after the first 15 minutes against Man Utd would have said 'we're well in the game here.'

"The disappointing thing was we didn't lay a glove on them after they hit the two goals. That's one thing you can't do. Okay we came out second half and never wilted. But the horse had already bolted.

"Now it's about going again.

"You win a game and your Saturday and Sunday is good. You lose it and your Saturday and Sunday is horrendous. But you have to let it go on the Monday.

"You have to have that rule where you let it go. You lift it and get it going again.

"I have that philosophy. An experienced manager told me that. You have to move on. I took his advice. It keeps you focused.

"I don't dwell. Yes you're hurt like everyone else but you have to go to the next game and try to win.

"The good thing about the group is when they come back in, they are ready to go again."


Lambert believes there has been a mammoth overall improvement in his team one year on from the heavy festive losses of 2012.

But he accepts that his side, while being firm at the back, have perhaps been a little less ferocious going forward.

He thinks this will change, given time, hopefully at the Britannia Stadium. 

He added: "Hopefully we will be exciting. That can turn. Last year we were getting a lot of pats on the back for our goalscoring exploits and criticised for conceding a lot of goals.

"This year we're getting praise for not conceding but we're not scoring. That's football.

"You have cycles. You come through it. You just have the belief.

"You need your components of the whole team working. If you can get that, you'll be exciting to watch.

"We have a problem at the top end but it will come.

"I have always been at clubs that expected to win. The best way to do it is to go on the front foot.

"I won't change my way of playing. We will try and do everything.

"Yes you might lack a bit of confidence at home due to the pressure but that will come. Away from home - like this weekend - we look freer."


Stoke v Villa
Barclays Premier League
Saturday December 21 - KO 3pm
Referee: Craig Pawson


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Gaffer's press conference - watch now

Pre-match show with Sir Doug Ellis - watch now


Ron Vlaar remains a major doubt for the trip to Stoke.

Vlaar is still battling a calf problem that forced him off at half time during the victory at Southampton earlier this month.

It also kept the Villa skipper out of the defeats to Fulham and Man Utd.

Meanwhile, Chris Herd is set to return after missing out on the Utd clash with a facial injury.

Fabian Delph is back after serving a one-match ban but Gabby Agbonlahor is suspended after picking up five yellow cards.


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


Villa's record of just four away defeats in 2013 is bettered only by Manchester United (two) and Tottenham (three).

Paul Lambert has won more away league games (eight) as manager of Aston Villa than he has at home (seven).

Villa won at Stoke for the first time in six attempts in April 2013, when Matt Lowton scored the decisive goal.

Six of the last nine Premier League meetings between the sides have been drawn.

Peter Crouch scored six goals in 42 league and cup games for Aston Villa between 2002 and 2004.

Stoke's tally of 18 points is their lowest after 16 matches of a Premier League season.



Villa's match console is the ultimate place to be to follow the game with Stoke.

Tune in and be part of the claret and blue conversation.

You can join us from 11am.

Access the match console.

Before the game starts, the match console will also contain pre-match analysis, interactive polls and a free video package previewing the game.

During the match itself, you can follow the action and interact with Paul Brown and Dan Harrison in the match console.

Paul and Dan will bring you blow by blow action as the game unfolds as well as the thoughts of fans logging-in from all over the planet.

After the game, the match console contains a game report, manager's verdict, stat pack and a picture gallery.

You can boost the coverage of the game in the subscription-only area of the match console.

Here, you can enjoy live audio commentary, with Jack Woodward joined by Ken McNaught on the microphone throughout the 90 minutes.

Also, in our subscription area, you get a video interview with Paul Lambert and the star players from the game and extended highlights too.

You can enjoy two months of AVTV for the price of one month - £4.99 - or £44.99 for the year - sign up today here.


AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 21st December 2013
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