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Aug 24, 2012

Lambert bans laptops and mobiles at Villa

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has demonstrated his hard-line nature by prohibiting the use of mobile phones and laptops at the club's training ground.

• Warnock trains with youth team

Lambert is determined to halt the steady decline at the club over the last couple of seasons under Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish and has already made his mark by clearing out many of the old guard he inherited in the playing department.

But he has taken his ruthless overhaul of the club to new levels with the latest edict at the £9 million Bodymoor Heath complex - concerning players bringing gadgets to work.

Lambert revealed his decision to ban iPads, laptops and all mobiles during work time at a fans' forum.

During the meeting with supporters, who are desperate to see an upturn in fortunes after two successive fights against relegation, Lambert said: "If you are a professional footballer, then it's not your hobby, it's your job.

"I think it's important. You are at the training ground to work. If you train the way you play, then I don't have a problem with it. But iPhones and iPads are a distraction. I'm here to win football matches not to play on a phone or computer."

It is thought there will be club fines for anyone found breaking the new code of conduct from a man who has wasted little time in stamping his own authority on the club.

He has already moved the home dugout to be nearer the Holte End and his determination to foster a tight knit team spirit bears an uncanny resemblance to another former boss Martin O'Neill, who is still referred to as "the gaffer" by the Scot, who played under him at Celtic.

"Team spirit is absolutely vital," Lambert said, "It's about 90% of your game because, if you know the guy next to you is going for it for you, then you will do exactly the same and it will transmit to everyone else in the dressing room."

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