Aston Villa live updates

Vlaar bemoans dip in concentration

Defender Ron Vlaar thinks Aston Villa cannot claim to be a decent side if they let their concentration drop in key games.

Villa were brought down to earth on Sunday when they followed up their 1-0 win over Chelsea by losing 4-1 at home to Stoke.

If the discipline and the effort we had last week (against Chelsea) drops by only one per cent, and if the focus is not right - I'm not saying it wasn't right (against Stoke) but it has to be spot on - then we are not as good as we think.

– Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar speaking to AVTV


Teams: Aston Villa v Stoke


#AVFC: Guzan, Bacuna, Bertrand, Westwood, Vlaar, Baker, El Ahmadi, Delph, Benteke, Weimann, Agbonlahor. #AVFCLIVE


SCFC XI v @AVFCOfficial Begovic; Pieters, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Palacios, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie; Crouch

El Ahmadi avoids major injury

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has confirmed Karim El Ahmadi has escaped serious injury following the horror tackle by Ramires in his side's 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

If Karim comes in from another angle, he breaks his leg. It was shocking. He has got a sore one but thankfully he's okay.

He has a sore one on his shin. It certainly could have been worse.

– Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

Lambert wants more from Benteke

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has hailed striker Christian Benteke as a world-class player, but one that is still far from the finished article.

I think if he does over the second half of this season what he did last season then we're talking about having an absolute world-class player on our hands.

This season was always going to be hard for him. He's only been in Britain for a year and a half, and I think people forget that, and they forget his age as well.

He's got the ability to be a top, top player, but he's still a long, long way to go before he hits the heights of his career.

His two goals were fantastic though.

– Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert


Lambert backs Holt to shine

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is ready to unleash his trusty warhorse Grant Holt on their former club Norwich this weekend, despite describing the striker as "the worst trainer I've ever seen".

Holty will be involved with the squad anyway, that's the thing.

I think he'll be looking forward to it, it's his first time facing them so it's maybe new for him.

He was a major catalyst for that club with what he did. When I was there he was player of the year for three years in a row and he was great for me.

He was probably the worst trainer I've ever seen but you put him in on a Saturday and he performed. He was brilliant, he was absolutely fantastic.

I know exactly what you get from him.

I've always had a laugh and a joke with him about his training but he's 30-odd years of age now.

– Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert
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