A kind of magic: Lambert urges Aston Villa to use “every trick in the book” to stay up
After watching his youngsters throw away two-goal leads three times on their slide into the relegation zone the Scot urges them to win ugly
Paul Lambert is urging his young Aston Villa side to become streetwise and use “tricks” to avoid relegation.
Struggling Villa have blown two-goal leads three times this season to drop vital points.
Last weekend, Villa led 3-1 at Everton only to concede a last-gasp equaliser in their 3-3 draw.
The Brummies also lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United in November, despite being 2-0 up and drew at 2-2 at West Brom last month after a dominant first half.
Now, frustrated boss Lambert wants his inexperienced side to start playing dirty to close out games with cynical tactics.
He said: “We were so close to having a hell of a result up there at Everton. Just at the minute they have to see games through. If they can do that then they will win.
“I am pretty sure through experience they will certainly do it. I think you have to try and use every trick in the book to try to win the game. I am sure the lads will learn from that side of it.
“We tried in the last couple of minutes to go into the corners at Everton and keep them up their end of the pitch.
“We just never saw it through.”
With Villa now fighting relegation at the foot of the Premier League, Lambert has been left to rue those dropped points badly.
And he is anxious that Villa, who also conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at Swansea, are not left citing hard luck stories at the end of the campaign.
He added: “If you look at the Manchester United game, West Brom, Everton – even Swansea. Those points would have taken you up.
“You don’t want near misses all the time – you have to try and get results.”
But despite the club’s plight, the Scot insists he has not discussed relegation with his squad at their Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Lambert, who is targeting five or six wins from their 13 remaining games, said: “We have not spoken about it. I think that would be a defeatist attitude. That is something I don’t want to create.
“I am not going to talk about that – there are still loads of games to go. If you do that it brings negativity, especially when there are 13 games to go.
“I am not a negative person and you try and install that. My belief has never wavered.”
Last week’s results have left Villa 19th in the Premier League ahead of a weekend that includes Sunday’s home game against West Ham.
But Lambert insists his squad are not being mentally affected by their plight in the drop zone.
He added: “I have not sensed that at all.”
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