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Aston Villa boss Lambert brushes off pressure

Lambert needs to turn things around quickly. Credit: PA

Paul Lambert has dismissed the heat on him ahead of Aston Villa's tussle with Tottenham.

The Villa manager is preparing to run the home gauntlet on Sunday after his side lost their last five games without scoring.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is also under pressure from fans because of a stuttering campaign that sees his side mid-table in the Premier League.

If you look at teams like Tottenham and Liverpool who spend a bit of money the pressure probably intensifies because they were in the top six last year.

We've played nine games and this will be our sixth game against last year's top six.

You have to come through it. It goes from one manager to the next. If you look at which manager is under pressure it is one guy one week, the next the next and another the following week. Everyone gets a hit at it.

It's just the way football works - you just have to turn it around. It would be more nail-biting if we had five games to go but we're 10 games into the season. You've got to be able to handle it, it's two big clubs going head to head.

I have my own way of dealing with things.

– Paul Lambert


Lambert calm over lack of goals

Paul Lambert is not losing any sleep over the collective lack of goals from his team and insists he boasts enough striking talent to turn things around.

The Aston Villa boss saw his side slip to a 2-0 reverse at QPR on Monday evening, a fifth straight Barclays Premier League defeat.

I tend not to get them down on that.

They will come out of the traps on Sunday (against Tottenham) and I know we are going to be alright in that department because when Benteke gets up to speed and, with (Gabriel) Agbonlahor, (Andreas) Weimann, (Charles) N'Zogbia and (Darren) Bent, there are guys there with goals in them and it will happen.

My main concern was we had that much of the ball that we had to score with it, but you have to defend when you are on top.

Benteke's injury was really severe and that was only his second game. It is a long time out and he might take six or seven games to get up to speed. There are signs that he is getting there.

– Paul Lambert


Transfer rumour: Man Utd and Arsenal vie for Vlaar

The hardest footballer ever to wear a cardigan? Credit: PA

Manchester United want to use Aston Villa centre-back Ron 'Roncrete' Vlaar – who was very impressive for the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup – to fill the leaky hole at the heart of their defence.

So do Arsenal, but Louis van Gaal knows Vlaar personally of course, so United are considered the red-hot favourites to seal the deal.

According to the Express, Villa have priced their captain at £12m.

Everton consider Barkley for Villa clash

Barkley Everton
Ross Barkley could feature against Villa. Credit: PA

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has to assess whether Ross Barkley is fit enough to make his first appearance of the season against Aston Villa.

The England midfielder has been sidelined by a knee-ligament injury sustained on the eve of the season but returned to full training this week.

Martinez is also hopeful over defender Seamus Coleman (thigh) and midfielders Steven Pienaar (hip) and James McCarthy (thigh) but Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) is still out while defender John Stones is recovering from knee surgery

Provisional Everton squad: Howard, Hibbert, Coleman, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Gibson, Naismith, McGeady, Lukaku, Robles, Oviedo, Browning, Alcaraz, Atsu, Pienaar, Osman, Eto'o.

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