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Lambert braced for relegation scrap

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that he is ready to guide his side into battle for Premier League survival.

Villa head into Saturday’s clash against Arsenal sitting in the drop zone, but the 43-year-old Lambert is adamant he has the experience to steer his side out of trouble.

He told reporters: “I was fortunate I played for the big clubs because you tended to handle a lot of media stuff and pressure and all that.

“At Celtic you were probably a second away from being hopeless because of the pressure. You tend to deal with it. Celtic was absolutely brilliant for that. It really made you thick-skinned and you’d get your head down and get on with it because of the demands of the public.

“It’s the same scenario as a manager but you battle through it. You try not to wilt under it, you keep going.

“That’s why I always say the most important people at this football club are the players and the people that come and watch it.”

Lambert concedes he has limited experience in fighting to avoid relegation but is hoping that three points against Arsenal can reignite Villa’s season.

“You certainly don’t want to be where we are. It’s not something that I’m used to,” he said.

“The thing for me is that the players don’t lose heart and confidence. As soon as you lose that, then it becomes a major problem. I’ve not sensed that one bit.

“But we need to win games, including the Arsenal game. I always want to be beating the bigger teams as well. I don’t look at the fixtures and say: ‘Oh well, we’re playing Arsenal so I’ll disregard three points there’.

“I want to win and it’s the same when you go and play the so-called not-so-big clubs that you want to win them.”

Sat 24 November, 2012
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