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Lambert glad of cup diversion

Paul Lambert believes Aston Villa's upcoming cup ties will ease the pressure on their Premier League worries.

• Blog: Mixed emotions as Villa halt slide

Villa will take a break from their relegation concerns in the next five days with their FA Cup third-round tie with Ipswich Town, ahead of next week's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Bradford City.

The Villa manager is confident his side will benefit from the focus being shifted from their league problems - despite being under no illusions at the task facing his young side in the two knockout competitions.

Lambert is eager to reach Wembley in the Capital One Cup, but is unlikely to field a weakened team against Mick McCarthy's Championship side as he looks to build confidence ahead of returning to league action in ten days' time.

"We are looking forward to the cup games now," Lambert told the club's official website. "There's not the same pressure in the cups as there is in the league. We have two massive cup matches and we will try and get through.

"It will be really hard. It always is. The FA Cup is a prestigious competition. It will be a tough game."

Lambert insists he will not deviate from his blueprint of developing younger players, despite the harrowing experience of conceding 15 goals in three defeats, prior to the 2-2 draw against Swansea City on New Year's Day.

"There are positives. I have a lot of faith in what I'm doing and I won't deviate from it. It's my belief that they will keep doing it," he said.

"I can't fault them for their effort, even in getting beaten heavily in the three games. We have kept their spirits up.

"I work with them every day, I know what they're like and when they're feeling high or down. You try to pick them up. But against Swansea, especially in the second half, I thought they were really good.

"We have to build the football club as well as get results. That's the way it is. We are trying to do that in the best way we can. That's what we continue to do. It's for the future of the football club."


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