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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Don't panic, says Villa skipper Vlaar

Ron Vlaar has said there is no reason for panic at Aston Villa, despite the club making their worst-ever start to a Premier League season.

The optimism surrounding Paul Lambert's new regime has been punctured by a poor return of five points from the opening six matches, despite the changes made to the squad during the summer.

And the mood around Villa Park was soured when striker Darren Bent spoke of his disappointment after losing the captaincy and being dropped to the bench for the weekend's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Vlaar has been the beneficiary of Lambert's decision to hand the armband to someone else, despite only arriving at the club from Feyenoord this summer.

And the Dutch defender insists the only problem at the club is inconsistency, underlined by a win over Swansea, a 4-1 defeat to Southampton and Sunday's draw in their last three games as Lambert tries to integrate a host of new signings.

"The most important thing is consistency and we haven't shown that. We produced a really good team display against Swansea and we should have won more than 2-0," he said.

"At Southampton, unfortunately, it all went wrong after Darren Bent had given us the lead. With a young team like ours, you know you're going to have ups and downs, and we know we have to be more consistent."

Villa next face a Spurs side full of confidence after their thrilling win at Old Trafford at the weekend, and Vlaar knows he has a captain's responsibility to ease his new-look side through their teething problems.

"Being captain was not something on my mind when I joined Villa, but I'm always looking to improve my game and I enjoy the responsibility of being captain," he said. It's a great honour."

Meanwhile, Andreas Weimann's impressive start has been rewarded with his first senior call-up by Austria.

The Villa striker has been included in Marcel Koller's 23-man squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Kazakhstan.

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