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May 11, 2013

Lambert reveals rage at players

Paul Lambert has had to "lose the plot" on occasion during Aston Villa's battle for Premier League survival this season.

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Lambert's calmness and belief in his players are being held up as reasons for the resurgence that looks like leading the club to safety - but he says there have been times when he has lost his temper.

"I have had to lose the plot at certain times and the players have responded," he said in the countdown to Saturday's home game against Chelsea.

"But there was no point in me going ballistic when we lost 8-0 at Stamford Bridge (in December) because the damage had been done.

"It could have been more that day but you can't let it manifest. Win, lose or draw, forget it. Move on to the next game. If it has gone, just deal with it.

"Our hangover lasted until we started picking up decent results again. We lost the next two games as well."

As a rookie manager with Livingston, Lambert resigned soon after a 7-0 hammering at Hibernian in February 2006, and called on such painful experiences from his past to enable him to lift his side after the successive hammerings against Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan during the winter.

"There are times as a player when I have been smashed 7-0 and 6-0, so you put yourself now in the players' shoes," he added. "I played under some brilliant managers and you just have your own thoughts.

"When we have had to win against the teams around us in the table, we have won. That has been a big factor.

"I knew it would take time here and it wouldn't be built in a day. If Paul Faulkner and Randy Lerner had wanted to change it round, there was nothing I could have done about it.

"But they have been really good. Everybody has bought into it and when you get the support of the board, it certainly helps."

Villa are safe unless Wigan - their last-day opponents at the DW Stadium next weekend - can win their rearranged game at Arsenal on Tuesday, but Lambert is hoping they can get the job done in front of their own fans versus the Blues.

And he is backing forward Gabby Agbonlahor to continue his fine form and maybe even return to the England fold. Lambert said: "He's looking an absolute handful.

"It's up to the (England) boss but I wouldn't disregard it. He has got what everybody would love to have - genuine pace. He is adding goals to his game and playing really well."


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