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Lambert: Confidence cured Villa´s woes

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised his side’s confident approach, following a dramatic 3-1 away victory over Stoke City.

Gabriel Agbonlahor gave the visitors the lead in the first half but the Britannia Stadium hosts looked set to steal at least a point late on when Michael Kightly drew Stoke level with just 10 minutes remaining.

However, a stunning long-range strike from Matthew Lowton and a sealer from Christian Benteke capped all three points, and Lambert believes his team are profiting from playing with confidence in front of goal.

“We’re playing well at the minute (and) there’s a lot of confidence about the team,” Lambert told reporters.

“The crowd today were outstanding again but I thought we were outstanding today.

“I think we play without a fear. We’ve got some terrific footballers at the club, really good, and a lot of them are still learning their trade and trying to get results.

“From my own team’s point of view we play the game the right way, and if you can play without fear and a freedom it’ll certainly help you.”

Lowton scored his second goal for the club to give the visitors the lead with a strike that was reminiscent to his finish at home to Swansea earlier in the season.

Lambert believes the strike will struggle to be beaten for quality this term.

He continued: “I don’t think you’ll see a better goal in Europe let alone Britain. The technique and the finish were world class.

“He’s not missed one minute for us this season since coming from Sheffield United. He’s still learning.

“He scored a similar goal against Swansea at the beginning of the season and I thought that one (today) was absolutely outstanding.”

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis said the club needed to stay united in the face of a tough run in, as they look to preserve their Premier League status.

“I think when things go against you they go against you,” Pulis said.

“And at the moment things are going against us.

“The biggest thing is, in life when things are going well everyone’s happy and it all rolls and doesn’t take any character to roll with the good times and what you’ve got to do when the bad times come is show your character.

“What we’ve got to do now as a group, and that’s not just as a team that’s everyone around the football club, has to stick together and make sure we get the six points to stay up.”

Sat 6 April, 2013
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