Lambert: we must let 8-0 defeat go

Villa boss Paul Lambert: reeling after 8-0 defeat at Chelsea. Photo: PA

Paul Lambert admits how Aston Villa react to their record defeat at Chelsea will tell him about the quality of the players at his disposal.

The Villa manager is looking for a positive response in tonight's home clash with Tottenham after his side were hammered 8-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday - the heaviest in the club's 138-year history.

It brought an end to Villa's six game unbeaten run in all competitions which had lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone and into the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Lambert said: "You analyse Sunday but you can't over-analyse it otherwise it will drag you right down.

"You get to a point where you have to let it go and we have another game coming up against Tottenham on Boxing Day for us to rectify that.

"How do we get over it? We just go out and try to win the next game. There's no magic formula. You just go out and try to win.

"The players know themselves that they let everybody down against Chelsea.

"It's how we react; that's a good marker of a good team, how we react to it."

Midfielder Ashley Westwood believes Villa are "building something special," although he concedes there will be setbacks to overcome for the young squad of players assembled by Lambert.

He said: "We are young lads, we are going to have setbacks, we are going to have disappointing performances.

"But if the fans can stick by us, I think we're building something special here.

"We are young lads, we are still learning the game, we are not going to be at the top of our game week in and week out."

Lambert will assess the fitness of striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, winger Charles N'Zogbia and central defender Ron Vlaar ahead of the Tottenham encounter.

Agbonlahor (thigh) and Vlaar (calf) have missed the last three and six games respectively, while N'Zogbia suffered a knee injury in training ahead of the Chelsea game.

Striker Darren Bent is again ruled out with a hamstring injury while centre-back Richard Dunne is undergoing rehab work after a third groin operation.