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Vlaar rallies troops for response

Ron Vlaar does not want any of his Aston Villa team-mates to feel sorry for themselves in the Capital One Cup against Manchester City after their heavy defeat at Southampton.

Villa's new captain has made it clear there is no room for self-pity within the dressing room following the 4-1 loss at St Mary's on Saturday.

A trip to the Etihad Stadium to face the Premier League champions is hardly the ideal fixture for Paul Lambert's struggling squad, who have won just one league game so far this season.

Netherlands international Vlaar believes the players owe Villa fans an apology for the surrender against the Saints, and has challenged them to stand up to Roberto Mancini's side.

"We can play well as a team. We know this, but we didn't do it in the second half against Southampton and that's disappointing for everybody," Vlaar said.

"It is disappointing for the players, the manager and the coaching staff and, of course, our fans. We have to stay strong now, and we have another game Tuesday which we need to prepare for.

"Of course, it is going to be a difficult game - but every game is difficult. We will go and try to win the game. Everybody wants to do better, and I hope we can show this in the way we play against Manchester City."

Lambert is still awaiting the outcome of X-rays on Stephen Ireland's arm amid fears the Republic of Ireland international fractured his wrist during the game on the south coast.

But he has warned against getting too despondent in the wake of the poor performance against Nigel Adkins side, saying: "I never get too carried away when we win and I never get too down when we lose. We have to concentrate on the next game now and try to put things right."

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