Lambert praises 'phenomenal' Weimann
Paul Lambert has heaped praise on Andreas Weimann after the striker scored one goal and created another to enable Aston Villa to snatch an unlikely victory against basement rivals Queens Park Rangers.
Villa, fortunate not to be out of the game by half-time, were ultimately celebrating a second crucial victory in the space of eight days as their in-form forwards again delivered.
And Weimann, the Austrian forward who has a knack of coming up with crucial contributions, was particularly impressive according to his boss.
"I don't think he was a regular in the side but we gave him a chance and he is playing exceptionally well," Lambert said. "I know his natural position is probably through the middle but that's difficult with the way Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor are performing. But, whether or not he has to play off the line, he seems to score goals.
"The biggest compliment I can pay him is that he is a brilliant guy who gives you everything and that can take you a long way. It was a brilliant goal that he scored and, for the third goal, he just never gave up the ghost. He's a phenomenal lad to work with."
Weimann has now scored 11 times this season - including in both legs of the Capital One Cup semi-final and a brace at home to Manchester United - and also netted a last-gasp winner at home to Fulham last March when the club were similarly threatened by the drop.
Benteke has 17 to his name, the two having accounted for all the goals when Villa won 3-1 at Anfield in mid-December against their next opponents, Liverpool.
Asked whether he would rather not now have embarked on a 15-day break between Premier League fixtures, Lambert added: "Everybody knows there are international games coming up.
"That's the way the fixtures are thrown up and we have to wait until the Liverpool game. You just have to keep everyone level-headed until the next one.
"There are still eight games to go but we have momentum and the crowd right there. The lads were excellent in a high-pressure game and it gives us a good feeling about the club."
Lambert celebrated this latest success by leaping on to the back of his assistant Ian Culverhouse, but had good reason to keep a lid on his emotions on Sunday when 18th-placed Wigan – his club's final matchday opponents at the DW Stadium - beat Newcastle to close the gap on them to three points. The Latics also have a game in hand and a better goal difference.