Tag Archives: hutton

Montrose 0 Rangers 0 – match report: Ally McCoist"s men crowned Irn-Bru Scottish Third Division champions

Montrose 0 Rangers 0: McCoist's men crowned champions despite goalless draw

By
Lisa Gray, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:00 GMT, 31 March 2013

Rangers clinched the Irn-Bru Third Division title on Saturday to complete stage one of their journey back to the top of Scottish Football.

The Light Blues were held to a goalless draw at Montrose in a noon kick-off but were confirmed as champions three hours later when a Stuart Leslie penalty secured victory for Elgin over Queen's Park.

The result at Hampden means nearest rivals Queen's cannot catch the Ibrox outfit in the title race, as Ally McCoist secured his first piece of silverware as Rangers manager.

Get the party started: Rangers players pose after winning the Third Division

Get the party started: Rangers players pose after winning the Third Division

Goaless: Rangers' Kane Hemmings tussles for the ball with Cammy MacDonald

Goaless: Rangers' Kane Hemmings tussles for the ball with Cammy MacDonald

His side have looked unconvincing at
times this term but have done enough to force themselves over the
finishing line with several games to spare, following their demotion to
the bottom tier of Scottish football after being consigned to
liquidation in the summer and losing their top-flight status.

Rangers made two changes following last week's drab stalemate against Stirling at Ibrox for the clash at Montrose.

David Templeton and Ian Black returned
from injury and suspension respectively to start, with Barrie McKay and
Fraser Aird dropping to the bench.

Rangers were handed a tough match the last time they visited Links Park in December, leaving with a hard-fought 4-2 win.

Chalked off: Montrose's Martin Boyle has finds the net only to have his goal ruled out

Chalked off: Montrose's Martin Boyle finds the net only to have his goal ruled out

This time around, they started sharply
with efforts from Robbie Crawford and Lee McCulloch blocked in quick
succession, before Kyle Hutton eventually rifled wide.

Templeton tested the goalkeeper when
he collected a Kane Hemmings header before unleashing an impressive half
volley that stung the palms of John Gibson.

The winger was threatening again when
he cut inside from the left before having another crack at goal but
Stephen McNally blocked for a corner.

Templeton then turned provider for Lee
Wallace and his effort was touched onto the bar by the keeper, as
Rangers kept up the pressure.

At the other end, a Paul Watson strike from distance took a massive deflection and spun just past the upright.

Champions elect Ally McCoist side could still become champions if Queens Park slip up against Elgin City

A matter of time: Ally McCoist side could still become champions if Queens Park slip up against Elgin City

Bolstered by the chance, the home side carved out another couple of decent opportunities.

David Gray – who has netted home and
away against Gers this season – forced a save from Neil Alexander,
before Alan Campbell glanced a header inches wide.

Montrose should have taken the lead
through Martin Boyle but his back post header was off target when he
should have had the net bulging.

The home side picked up where they
left off in the second half when Gray pounced on a poor clearance from
Emilson Cribari and lashed narrowly over the crossbar a minute after the
restart.

Crunch: Ian Black takes a tough challenge from Montrose's Terry Masson

Crunch: Ian Black takes a tough challenge from Montrose's Terry Masson

Rangers had a good chance of their own when Wallace's cut-back found Hemmings and his shot forced a decent save from Gibson.

Montrose thought they had taken the lead when they had the ball in the net after 65 minutes.

Alexander fumbled an awkward cross
that fell for Terry Masson. His shot was saved but the keeper could not
hold that ball, which was turned into the empty net by Boyle.

But the goal was disallowed by referee Kevin Clancy for a foul on Alexander.

It looked to be a controversial
decision and a let off for Rangers, whose celebrations came later in the
day as they made the trip back to Ibrox and took a major step in their
road to recovery.

Rangers v East Stirling match report

Rangers 3 East Stirling 1: Little double puts Gers another win closer to title

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

13:55 GMT, 2 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 2 March 2013

Rangers fought back from a half-time deficit to beat East Stirlingshire 3-1 and move another win closer to the Third Division title.

Two days after confirmation the club would not be stripped of five Premier League titles, they moved closer to another accolade and now require just five more wins to secure the championship.

Ibrox was in a buoyant mood as a result, but there were a few nerves jangling when Andy Stirling gave the visitors the lead five minutes before half-time.

However, normal service was resumed after the break, with a double from Andrew Little and another from Lee McCulloch earning a comfortable win.

Rangers now have a 23-point lead at the summit.

Full report and match pics to follow


Double strike: Andrew Little scored twice for Rangers in the win over East Stirling

Double strike: Andrew Little scored twice for Rangers in the win over East Stirling

Match Facts

Rangers: Alexander, Argyriou, Hegarty, Emilson Cribari, Wallace, Naismith (McKay 65), Black, Hutton, Templeton (Aird 90+1), Little, McCulloch (Hemmings 86)

Substitutes not used: Gallagher, Faure

Scorer: Little 50, 62; McCulloch 61

East Stirlingshire: Hay, Shepherd (Gillespie 68), Miller, Buchanan, Maxwell, Turner, Greenhill, Hunter, Stirling, Quinn (Zufle 75), Glasgow

Substitutes not used: Gordon, Wright, Benton

Bookings: Turner, Gillespie, Buchanan

Scorer: Stirling 40

Referee: Brian Colvin (Scotland)

Attendance: 44,534

Kevin Kilbane column: time for Shay Given to get in the Villa team

12 goals in two games shows it's time for my old mate Shay to take back the gloves at Villa

|

UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 28 December 2012

Aston Villa conceded 12 goals in two games over Christmas.

It’s time for Paul Lambert to play Shay Given.

Shay Given should be Villa’s No 1, and he should come back to play for the Republic of Ireland and fight Keiren Westwood for the right to play for his country again.

It has been a difficult 2012 for my old Ireland team-mate who struggled with injuries, and by his own admission didn’t match his own high standards in the Euro 2012 finals, probably because he wasn’t fully fit.

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

He then gave up playing for Ireland, with the backing of new manager Paul Lambert, to concentrate on his Villa career, only to lose his place to Brad Guzan.

Shay is fully fit now, and still hungry to play.

Brad Guzan is not in his league as a keeper and it is time the Villa boss realised it and brought Shay’s brilliance, determination and experience back to his team.

He needs him.

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League, right at the start of the season

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League

Lambert did a good job at Norwich City and he deserved the chance to make a step up in his career and manage a bigger club with a history like Villa’s.

But it was always going to be difficult taking over a squad which has been constructed by three managers in a short space of time.

International return: Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

He has turned to youth and Shay is not the only experienced player who is out of the team.

Darren Bent, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton are all out of favour and I can’t help thinking there must be an agenda.

They are all high earners and can presumably leave the club.

But the horrific 8-0 defeat at Chelsea, which could easily have been 11 or 12, exposed the lack of experience in the Villa team.

It is easy for younger players when things are going well and they are winning and playing with confidence.

Lambert, and his young players, need help from lads who have been there before and can take defeats and setbacks.

After a 4-0 defeat like the one suffered at home to Tottenham just days later, older players would normally go round and speak to the younger players on a personal level and try to help them cope.

Realistically no manager can talk to a player on a personal level in the dressing room straight after a game and he needs the old-heads to deal with any issues.

That’s hard when the team is so young. Who can they turn to That’s where a man like Shay Given comes into his own.

He performed brilliantly for Ireland for more than a decade and earned his 100 caps with world class performances.

We lost count of the number of crucial saves or moments of magic he pulled off to keep us in games, and win them like he did against Iran to get us to the World Cup.

Added to that he was an important character in the dressing room. He had 50 caps by his mid-20s and over time found his voice which comes with experience and respect for the things he did between the sticks.

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

Now I have heard Shay babbling some awful rubbish in dressing rooms and team meetings over the years, but you always listen to him.

And when he shouts during a game, he sort of screeches – it’s the most ear-splitting noise you will hear – but if you hear it, it doesn’t half make you alert.

It’s no coincidence that Aston Villa have had a good run in the Capital One Cup and reached the semi-finals.

Shay has played and it’s time Paul Lambert got his best keeper back in the side and used his experience in the Barclays Premier League.

He has been one of the best the world’s toughest league has seen, and he can reach those heights again.

Which is why he should also come back into the Ireland squad. He has actually played more games than Keiren Westwood who has been unfortunate to lose his place to Simon Mignolet at Sunderland but is realistically not going to oust the impressive Belgian unless he gets injured.

And a lack of experience behind him means Martin O’Neill is unlikely to let the new Ireland number go.

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

He has played more games for Ireland than Sunderland this season and that has to be a concern with the vital qualifiers against Austria and Sweden coming up in March.

Keiren might not like the idea, but competition from a keeper like Shay could only help him while he is not playing.

Even if Shay is not playing regularly by then, Giovanni Trapattoni should consider recalling him, just to have him around at an important time.

It comes down to experience again. And it’s time Shay’s was put to proper use for club and country.

The future looks grim…

If I was a Liverpool fan I would be very worried about the future of Luis Suarez.

Without him at Stoke City the other night, Liverpool had virtually nothing.

I don’t know if Daniel Sturridge is the answer, but I’ve always liked him and he can certainly help ease the burden on Suarez who worked himself into the ground at the Britannia Stadium.

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

But there were just signs that he was getting frustrated with the limitations of the individuals who are supposed to be helping him and creating chances, and perhaps with Liverpool’s standing in the Premier League at the moment.

He is a world class striker in a pretty average team and if a Champions League team from anywhere in Europe comes in with a silly bid, Liverpool might still have the power to turn it down, but you wonder if Suarez’s head would be turned by any interest.

Brendan Rodgers claimed before Christmas his team were still in Champions League contention but on Wednesday’s evidence they are a long way off.

Sadly Suarez looks like he is starting to realise his only chance of immediate Champions League action might be away from Anfield.

The Good and The Bad

Thumbs up

Jon Walters

I don’t think I have seen work-rate like Jon’s against Liverpool. He did everything at a sprint and mad life hell for the Liverpool defenders.

He got two great goals and his interaction with Kenwyne Jones was outstanding.

He’s the same with Peter Crouch and has a reading of their knockdowns and flick-ons which reminds me of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn at Sunderland.

All good news for Ireland.

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country - the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country – the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Thumbs down

Stats

I said on BBC Radio 5 live at Stoke that I felt they dominated Liverpool and deserved their win.

Then I was reliably informed on Twitter that the stats showed Liverpool had something like 60 per cent possession compared to Stoke’s 40.

That’s all very well but unless you’re going to create any chances, stats are a waste of time.

Elgin 2 Rangers 6

Elgin 2 Rangers 6: Rampant visitors run riot to stretch lead at top of table

|

UPDATED:

15:30 GMT, 22 December 2012

Andy Little and Lee McCulloch helped themselves to two goals each as Rangers moved nine points clear with a game in hand at the top of the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Lewis Macleod and Kyle Hutton also claimed a goal apiece against Elgin, while Daniel Moore and Mark Nicolson found the net for the home side in an entertaining top-of-the-table tussle at Borough Briggs.

The clash between the two clubs should have been played on November 25 but was postponed then after Elgin sold too many tickets.

On our way: Rangers captain Lee McCulloch (left) celebrates his second goal against Elgin

On our way: Rangers captain Lee McCulloch (left) celebrates his second goal against Elgin

Match facts

Elgin: Gibson, Niven, Crighton, Nicolson, Gunn (Millar 79), Cameron, O'Donoghue, Harkins (McMullan 84), Moore, Wyness (Beveridge 70), Leslie.

Subs Not Used: Malin, McHardy.

Booked: Harkins, Crighton, Moore.

Goals: Moore 18, Nicolson 32.

Rangers: Aird, Argyriou (Perry 46), Hegarty, Emilson Cribari, Wallace, Little, Hutton, Macleod (Stella 79), Templeton (Crawford 70), McCulloch, McKay.

Subs Not Used: Currie, Naismith.

Booked: Hegarty.

Goals: Little 5, 24, McCulloch 41, 60,Macleod 64, Hutton 83.

Att: 3,448

Ref: Brian Colvin

The blunder earned the Moray outfit a 25,000 fine from the Scottish Football League, while chairman Graham Tatters was fined 1,000 by the Scottish Football Association earlier this week.

With the fixture finally under way, Rangers were clearly keen to make up for lost time and took the lead after five minutes.

Little collected a neat pass through the middle from David Templeton before rounding goalkeeper John Gibson and slotting into the back of the net.

Elgin were back on level terms with 17 minutes on the clock when the ball broke for Moore and he sent an impressive curling effort past the reach of Neil Alexander.

Rangers restored their lead after 24 minutes when Little grabbed his second of the day.

Templeton was again the provider with the cut-back and all that was required was a simple tap-in from the Northern Ireland international.

Again, the home side responded positively with a goal of their own.

Main man: Rangers' Andy Little scores his first goal of a successful afternoon

Main man: Rangers' Andy Little scores his first goal of a successful afternoon

Chris Hegarty was booked for a foul on David Niven on the edge of the box and Nicolson dispatched a superb swerving free-kick into the top corner with 32 minutes gone.

Elgin could have added to their tally when Brian Cameron unleashed a decent strike but Alexander was able to smother.

Instead, it was Rangers who had the net bulging again four minues before the break.

Little collected from Hutton before supplying the cross for McCulloch to lash home in off the crossbar.

Rangers made a change at the break when Anestis Argyriou was replaced by Ross Perry.

Elgin looked dangerous after the restart
and Craig Gunn squandered the chance to find the net when he blasted
over after Alexander spilled the ball.

Not enough: Elgin's Mark Nicolson celebrates his goal against Rangers

Not enough: Elgin's Mark Nicolson celebrates his goal against Rangers

McCulloch – back in a forward role after a recent spell in defence – was on target again when he raced onto a Templeton ball and fired across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner after 60 minutes.

Macleod added his name to the scoresheet four minutes later with a powerful, low strike from just inside the box.

Rangers threw Robbie Crawford into the action for Templeton and the youngster almost claimed a goal of his own within a couple of minutes when he forced Gibson into a great save.

Hutton put the gloss on the win when he rifled home from 20 yards after 83 minutes, before Alexander denied Moore from the penalty spot two minutes later after Hutton brought down Stuart Leslie.

Montrose 2 Rangers 4

Montrose 2 Rangers 4: Shiels shines as McCoist's men extend winning run to six

|

UPDATED:

15:09 GMT, 15 December 2012

Dean Shiels created a goal and scored himself inside two second-half minutes as Rangers came from behind to edge an open and entertaining Irn-Bru Third Division contest at Links Park.

Montrose were twice denied late equalisers by the frame of the goal before Robbie Crawford secured the points with virtually the last kick of the ball.

Shiels set up Kevin Kyle to put Rangers ahead midway through the second half and then finished off a clinical break to seemingly end the visitors' struggle against Montrose, who led for six minutes through Lloyd Young's strike before Lee McCulloch netted a penalty.

Top of the league: Rangers' captain Lee McCulloch celebrates his goal

Top of the league: Rangers' captain Lee McCulloch celebrates his goal

Match facts

Montrose: Sandy Wood, McNally, Jonathan Crawford, Campbell, Watson, Lloyd Young (Johnston 88), Winter, Masson (Morton 81),
Richard McIntosh (McLeish 75), Leighton McIntosh,Garry Wood.

Subs Not Used: David Crawford,David Gray.

Booked: Jonathan Crawford,Masson,Johnston.

Goals: Lloyd Young 16, McLeish 76.

Rangers: Alexander, Argyriou, McCulloch, Hegarty, Wallace, Little, Macleod, Hutton, Templeton (McKay 63), Shiels (Naismith 75), Kyle (Crawford 90).

Subs Not Used: Currie,Cole.

Booked: Hutton.

Goals: McCulloch 23 pen, Kyle 67, Shiels 69, Crawford 90.

Att: 4,205

Ref: Bobby Madden

But home substitute David Gray soon scored a wonderful lob and Garry Wood and Scott Johnston both hit the woodwork.

The victory was the least convincing of a six-match winning run for Rangers but Montrose deserve credit for their display as they showed why they had been on a six-match unbeaten run.

They showed their attacking intent in the opening minutes when Wood and then Jamie Winter came close with ambitious long-range efforts.

Andrew Little had Rangers' first effort on target when his angled drive was parried by Sandy Wood but Montrose stunned Ally McCoist's men in the 16th minute when Young ran unchecked on to Stephen McNally's long throw and dispatched a cushioned first-time volley into the bottom corner from 10 yards.

Rangers had an immediate chance to equalise when Lewis MacLeod threaded the ball through for Little but Wood was quickly out to block.

Wood then pushed Kyle Hutton's free-kick delivery on to the post.

The Ibrox side did not have long to wait for the equaliser though and it was a cheap give-away by Montrose when McNally made an ill-advised tackle on David Templeton in the box, getting some of the ball but coming from the wrong side and through his opponent, with few complaints at Bobby Madden's decision.

Centre-back McCulloch sent Wood the wrong way for his 17th goal of the season.
The goal failed to turn the game though. Garry Wood came close from long range before his namesake in goal parried MacLeod's effort after Little's flick had put him beyond the home defence.
Templeton shot over after good hold-up play from Kyle but Montrose had the best chances in the latter stages of the half.

Young hit another first-time effort that Neil Alexander pushed over brilliantly, and the enterprising wide midfielder then fired wide following a one-two with Wood.

Spot on: McCulloch slams home a penalty to help Rangers on their way to victory

Spot on: McCulloch slams home a penalty to help Rangers on their way to victory

Winter came close in injury-time when Alexander dived to push wide his driven 35-yard free-kick.
Wood saved from Shiels just after the break but Montrose were quickly on the front foot and McNally came close with a header.

McCoist brought on Barrie McKay for Templeton in a bid to find a much-needed cutting edge, but the 67th-minute breakthrough came from a scrappy piece of play.

Hutton and Shiels got in each other's way on the edge of the box and Rangers appeared to have lost their chance but the Northern Ireland international got up and steered the ball into the path of the unmarked Kyle to shoot into the bottom corner from 16 yards.

McCoist's men had some breathing space two minutes later. Hutton helped the ball on to McKay on the left after a Montrose set-piece had been cleared and the teenager ran 60 yards before releasing the ball for Shiels, who guided the ball into the far corner.

Helping hand: Kevin Kyle was also on target as Rangers won for the sixth game in a row

Helping hand: Kevin Kyle was also on target as Rangers won for the sixth game in a row

But Montrose refused to lie down and substitute Gray got them back into it with a goal out of nothing in the 76th minute, latching on to Leighton McIntosh's lay-off and guiding a first-time effort with the outside of his right foot over the head of Alexander and into the net from the corner of the box.

The hosts came so close to levelling moments later when Wood ran on to McIntosh's header-on following a goal kick.

Wood also lobbed Alexander but the Rangers goalkeeper this time turned round to see the ball hit off his bar and fall into his arms.

Wood saved well from MacLeod but Montrose were again denied by the frame of the goal when Scott Johnston volleyed off the inside of the post from 12 yards following a free-kick into the box in injury-time.

Rangers soon restored their two-goal lead following another break when Crawford took his time to make space and guide the ball in off the post after Wood had saved from McKay.

Rangers 2 Stirling 0: Templeton and Little on target in another Ibrox stroll

Rangers 2 Stirling 0: Templeton and Little on target in another Ibrox stroll

PUBLISHED:

17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

David Templeton and Andy Little supplied the goals as Rangers avenged their only Irn-Bru Third Division defeat so far this season with a win over Stirling Albion.

Bottom side Binos had claimed a shock win at Forthbank in October but were left empty-handed this time.

Rangers used the match at Ibrox to celebrate their 140th year, having come through one of the most turbulent spells in their history which saw them suffer administration and liquidation before being re-launched in Scottish football's bottom tier.

Competitive: Rangers' Lee Wallace and Stirling's Ross McGeachie tussle

Competitive: Rangers' Lee Wallace and Stirling's Ross McGeachie tussle

Match facts

Rangers: Alexander, Argyriou, Hegarty, McCulloch, Wallace, Templeton (Walsh 88), Hutton, Macleod, McKay, Shiels (Little 77), Kyle (Naismith 68). Subs not used: Scott Gallagher, Cole.

Booked: Kyle, Templeton.

Goals: Templeton 59, Little 90.

Stirling: Peat, McClune, Thom (White 89), Bishop, McAnespie, McCulloch (Davidson 82), McSorley, McGeachie (Flood 77), Ferry, Day, Graham Weir. Subs not used: Filler, Allison.

Sent Off: McSorley (86).

Booked: McCulloch, McSorley, McGeachie, Bishop, McAnespie.

Att: 49,913.

Ref: Mike Tumilty.

Around 40 former players were
welcomed on to the pitch at half-time by pundit Andy Gray, including
members of the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup winning side and players
from the Nine in a Row era.

There was also a card display and
fireworks for the season-record crowd of 49,913, although visiting fans
refused to join in the festivities and displayed a banner of their own
which read: 'More Like 140 Days'.

Ally McCoist had stressed beforehand
the importance of marking the occasion with three points and ensuring
Rangers remain top of the table.

Templeton and Kyle Hutton both started, with Little on the bench and Ian Black missing through injury.
Sixteen-year old Tom Walsh was named as a substitute for the first time, while Lee Wallace made his 50th appearance for Rangers.

Perhaps it was the celebratory mood
or a desire to avenge that defeat which saw Rangers pile on the pressure
from the first whistle.

After Marc McCulloch went into the
referee's book for a hard challenge on Templeton with seconds on the
clock, Lewis Macleod forced a decent save from Mark Peat at his near
post.

Templeton then lashed inches past the
post from distance, before the winger was again the victim of a poor
tackle which saw Daly McSorley cautioned on this occasion.

Show of support: Rangers fans air their views

Show of support: Rangers fans air their views

There was little respite for Stirling
early on and Macleod's blistering strike was just off target and the
goalkeeper was called into action again to block an angled drive from
Barrie McKay.

The best chance so far came when
Kevin Kyle knocked down into the path of the onrushing Macleod in front
of goal, but he connected awkwardly and the effort bounced over the
crossbar.

Albion duo Ross McGeachie and Jamie
Bishop then collected yellow cards in quick succession – also for fouls
on Templeton, who was making his first start since suffering ankle
ligament damage in mid-September.

Kyle had netted in the last two
outings but was denied by the woodwork just before the break when his
shot smacked off the post as Stirling survived the onslaught to head
into half-time on level terms.

Rangers still looked dangerous after the restart and the breakthrough finally came after 59 minutes.
McKay burst down the left wing and supplied a lovely ball across the face of goal where Templeton was waiting to lash home.

Kal Naismith almost added his name to
the scoresheet when he raced on to a McKay pass and forced a save from
Peat, before fellow substitute Little rippled the side-netting with the
rebound.

There was a tense moment for Rangers when Albion's Josh Flood saw his strike crash off the post.

McSorely was sent packing for a second yellow with five minutes to go, before Gers youngster Walsh was handed his debut.

Little then put the gloss on the win when he slotted home into the bottom corner in the final minute.

Richard Dunne injured until new year

Lambert dealt blow as Dunne is ruled out until new year with groin and hip injuries

|

UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 1 December 2012

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is resigned to being without experienced defender Richard Dunne until the new year as his groin and hip problems show little signs of improvement.

The Republic of Ireland international has not kicked a ball in anger since Euro 2012. It has left Villa shorn of experience in the back four, with the sale of James Collins to West Ham and the loaning out of Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton to Bolton and West Ham respectively.

Now skipper Ron Vlaar is sidelined with a calf problem ahead of the match at QPR which makes him a major doubt.

Blow: Richard Dunne faces at least another month on the sidelines

Blow: Richard Dunne faces at least another month on the sidelines

Lambert said: 'Richard went for a test on Saturday and then another one yesterday [Thursday]. We are just trying to find out what we think it could be.

'It is really frustrating. We are unsure at the moment what is this ongoing problem. It has come from the groin area/hip area as such.

'That is what we have to try and nail down and put to bed one way or another to try and get to the bottom of that.

'He is still a long way off (from being available) and it is frustrating for Richard.'

Blow: Paul Lambert must shore up his defence without Dunne's presence

Blow: Paul Lambert must shore up his defence without Dunne's presence

Lambert added: 'He is not training at all. He does little bits himself with the physios but I think even that is starting to hurt a bit.

'I would say he is out to the new year, the way it is going at the moment.

'It is frustrating with the other defensive (injury) problems because the squad isn't the biggest in that area.'

Aston Villa loan Alan Hutton to Nottingham Forest

Villa defender Hutton heads to Forest on emergency loan deal until January

|

UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 22 November 2012

Alan Hutton has joined Nottingham Forest until the New Year following an emergency loan deal with Aston Villa.

The Scotland international, who has failed to start a match for the club under Paul Lambert, will be available to Sean O'Driscoll for nine games.

He will be in Forest's squad for the trip to Molineux to face Wolves.

On the move: Scotland and Villa defender Alan Hutton (centre)

On the move: Scotland and Villa defender Alan Hutton (centre)

Paul Lambert to listen to offers for Richard Dunne, Shay Given, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton

Lambert happy to listen to offers for Dunne, Given, Warnock and Hutton

|

UPDATED:

01:17 GMT, 10 November 2012

Paul Lambert will listen to offers for several of Aston Villa's old guard as he looks to rebuild in the new year.

Out-of-favour players will be moved on in order to free up room in his budget.

Bids will be considered for Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton in a drive to remove high earners from the books.

Listening type: Paul Lambert (centre) will consider offers to a number of his old guard

Listening type: Paul Lambert (centre) will consider offers to a number of his old guard

Stoke had been strongly linked to Dunne, who also had an offer from Malaga in Spain before the transfer window shut in August.

Villa would be reluctant to part with injured striker Darren Bent, who joined the club only two seasons ago.

He remains a consistent scorer and Lambert, despite dropping the forward last month, remains short of goals.

The Scot will give Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke licence against Manchester United at Villa Park this evening, with Lambert predicting big things from the former in particular.

The England striker is second only to
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard in scoring against the Old Trafford side in
the Premier League.

Lambert said: 'Gabby's a handful because he has incredible speed. I wouldn't like to race him.

'I could see him getting back with England. He's in top form and enjoying where he is playing.'

On his way Richard Dunne (centre) could be leaving Villa Park

On his way Richard Dunne (centre) could be leaving Villa Park

Lambert also revealed that record signing Darren Bent will not require further surgery to overcome the ankle problem which first flared up nine months ago.

Bent was sidelined for the final three months of last season with a ligament injury suffered against Wigan in February which also ended his hopes of being part of England's Euro 2012 squad.

He is currently struggling with the injury again but, after seeing a specialist on Wednesday, Lambert believes rehab work should help Villa's 18million man recover, rather than another operation.

Lambert said: 'Darren had a scan on Wednesday on the ankle that he hurt and there's still little things in there that need to be cleared up.

'I think that's the problem. It's from the last injury but he doesn't need surgery now.

'I don't know how long he will be out but it's about the healing….rehab really.

'It's not floating bone, and he is getting there, but there's still a wee bit to go.

'It's a blow because we need any goalscorer and strikers.'

No more: Darren Bent (right) will not require further surgery on his injured ankle

No more: Darren Bent (right) will not require further surgery on his injured ankle

Prior to his latest injury Bent had already lost his place to 7million summer signing Christian Benteke, who has quickly become a favourite with the Villa fans.

Lambert said: 'I think Christian has built up a good relationship with them because of the way he plays and the way the big guy's been.

'I think at every club you go to there's always somebody the fans really like.

'For somebody as young as he is, once it sinks it what he's doing, I think he'll be a really big player.'

Villa have now half a dozen players on the injury list but Lambert is still looking forward with relish to games against United, Manchester City and Arsenal in the next fortnight.

He said: 'The injuries are mounting but that's the game of football, you have to trust the ones that go out for you.

'We've got Manchester United and we'll go to try and win it. The players will relish the next three games.

Next up: Robin van Persie and Manchester United visit Villa Park hoping to remain at the top of the Premier League

Next up: Robin van Persie and Manchester United visit Villa Park hoping to remain at the top of the Premier League

'Nobody's expecting us to do it, but we've earned the right to play them and we'll go and try and win.'

Lambert can sense a feeling of goodwill towards him from Villa fans that never existed when Alex McLeish was at the helm last season.

But he admits he is still under pressure and is driven on by the fear of failure.

He said: 'I do sense that people want you to do well, I really do.

'I wasn't part of what happened last year. It must have been extremely difficult.

'I think being a football manager there is always pressure on you. There's always people who want to have a go at you and praise you. I think you need a thick skin.

'The fear of losing drives you, that's what keeps you going, that you don't want to lose.'

Paul Lambert does not want to sell Darren Bent

Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent… but tells striker to fight his way into Villa side

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 19 October 2012

Paul Lambert says he has no desire to sell Darren Bent and has urged England’s forgotten striker to force his way back into his team.

Aston Villa’s 24million record signing has been a substitute in the club’s last two Premier League games, giving rise to rumours that Bent will ask to leave in January.

Conspiracy theorists also wonder if Lambert is trying to marginalise Villa’s high earners, with Shay Given, Alan Hutton and Steven Warnock also out of favour.

He certainly looks happy: Darren Bent (centre) training with Aston Villa

He certainly looks happy: Darren Bent (centre) training with Aston Villa

Villa, who play Fulham at Craven Cottage, have made the worst start to a top-flight campaign for 25 years and won just one of their last 17 League games.

Lambert said: ‘I understand people are frustrated when they don’t play but you always get a chance again — it’s up to you to take it.

‘Everyone’s in the same boat. I don’t think anyone should have a guaranteed place.

No rift: Paul Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent

No rift: Paul Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent

‘I’m sure he will bounce back. He won’t take this lying down. He’s missed only two games. It’s not a major worry for me.

‘I have to get results and I’ll pick a team that I think can get them.

‘I cannot stop people trying to get my players.

‘The only way to stop it is to answer the question when people ring. But I don’t see any reason for him not to be here.’

Villa owner Randy Lerner sold NFL side the Cleveland Browns for 650m this week but no change to the way he runs Villa is envisaged.

After spending more than 200m chasing Champions League qualification, Lerner wants Villa to be self-sustaining. But Lambert said he had been under no pressure to sell high earners.

‘Not once has either Paul Faulkner (chief executive) or the chairman said: “I need you to do x, y or z”. It’s up to me to make the decisions.’