Lambert can't wait for derby clash

Paul Lambert is relishing the chance to face West Brom. Photo: PA

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is relishing his first midlands derby, but has stressed the importance of his players keeping their cool against West Brom at Villa Park tomorrow.

Villa will head into the Barclays Premier League clash with the Baggies on the crest of a wave after their 4-2 win at Manchester City in the Capital One Cup in mid-week.

Lambert knows what overcoming Albion will mean to the Villa fans especially after they finished as the top midlands side during the 2011-2012 campaign.

But he is also aware of the need for players to keep their cool in a fixture which saw Villa defender Chris Herd red carded last season.

Lambert said: "In a derby, you will do things you never thought were humanly possible to do in that 90 minutes.

"You will go in for challenge and think `why did you go for it' when you've got no right to go for it.

"The atompshere and adrenalin gets you there.

"The confidence will be sky high and the fans will be buoyant. That's your marker, you always judge it by what the fans think as well.

"They are right behind us at the moment and I'm pretty sure the stadium will be jam-packed which will be great.

"But the big thing for me is that is that everyone plays with their head."

Lambert is already winning over Villa fans by putting the emphasis on attack, and the Scot is pleased with the progress Villa are making.

They bounced back from their 4-1 loss to Southampton by beating City, and he said: "For an hour or so against Southampton, we could have been a couple of goals up. Then we had a mad 15-20 minute spell.

"But the response at City was brilliant. That's how you judge a team and the response was outstanding.

"Things like that happen. A few of the lads are young and a few are having their first season in the Premier League.

"We've never said we'll get in the top four or anything.

"But I'll do anything I can to get the club going and we'll see what happens."

Villa have certainly offered excitement this season, something their supporters accused former boss Alex McLeish of failing to capture.

Lambert added: "It is as exciting as hell watching us at the minute. Your heart is pumping like everyone else when you stand and watch it.

"But it's something I'm really enjoying and I'm pretty sure the players are and the fans are.

"Yes, you are disappointed at losing at certain times, but I think the excitement is definitely there for everyone to see.

"Being attack-minded is the way I've been brought up. I don't think it's a trait that is ever going to leave me.

"I don't want it to because, if you are going to get beat, make sure you get beat the right way - but also I want to win 3-2 rather than get beat 3-2."

Villa winger Brett Holman has recovered from a knee injury after missing the win over Roberto Mancini's side.

But midfielder Stephen Ireland is again ruled out with the cracked bone in his wrist suffered at Manchester City last weekend, although he should be fit after the forthcoming international break.