Tag Archives: lambert

Paul Lambert has challenged Christian Benteke to stay at Aston Villa

Lambert challenges Benteke to stay at Villa and prove he's not a one-season wonder

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

17:15 GMT, 19 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 19 April 2013

Paul Lambert registered little surprise at Christian Benteke’s nomination for the PFA young player of the year yesterday but asked Aston Villa’s top scorer to guard against becoming a one-season wonder.

Benteke, 22, has scored 19 goals so far, including 15 in the Premier League, and been the major reason why Lambert’s side has managed to claw themselves clear of trouble in the Premier League.

His physical presence has also allowed others to flourish. But Villa’s boss remained phlegmatic at the announcement, instead urging Benteke to carry on his good work.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

'I’m not bothered if he’s nominated or not, as long as he’s performing for this club,' said Lambert, 'we’ll have to wait and see whether he wins it.

'However, I don’t think it’ll affect him one bit. If he remains the way he is at this minute, he’ll do very well for himself.

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

'And I don’t want to pile too much pressure upon him. He’s only a young guy learning his trade. He’s made mistakes like everyone else but his performances have been very good.

'He’s got to sustain a level where he is doing it, week in, week out.

'No doubt we’ll look at his contract at the end of the season. I just don’t want him to be one-season wonder.'

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not - knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not – knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

The spotlight will be on Manchester United’s David De Gea after Andy Carroll’s challenge on the keeper at Upton Park last week.

Lambert said that while Benteke was aggressive, there is no malicious intent.

Michael Carrick

Robin van Persie

Tough test: Villa travel to Old Trafford to face Player of the Year nominees Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie

'I think a lot has been made of that situation,' added the Scot, 'we don’t really have a physical side, it has only been Christian, he’s a big lad but not an aggressive guy who does not want to hurt anyone.

'I don’t think anyone goes out to hurt anyone. The British game is an up and out them type of football. But Christian is not that way inclined.'

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

Paul Lambert calls on Aston Villa to battle themselves out of relegation trouble ahead of Reading Premier League clash

Lambert calls on Villa to battle themselves out of relegation trouble ahead of Reading clash

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

Paul Lambert says Aston Villa will need to play with 'courage' at the Madjeski Stadium tomorrow as he attempts to drag others into the relegation dogfight.

Villa's boss says he does not sense that his team is playing under pressure and believes that a good result against Reading this weekend, followed by similar against bottom-placed QPR next Saturday will ease the club's lingering relegation issues.

War cry: Lambert believes a couple of wins for his Aston Villa side will pull others into a relegation dogfight

War cry: Lambert believes a couple of wins for his Aston Villa side will pull others into a relegation dogfight

Scrap: Villa are four points ahead of basement club QPR

Scrap: Villa are four points ahead of basement club QPR

Lambert believes two positive results will leave others looking 'edgy' as the Premier League campaign enters its final two months.

'There are loads of teams who will be edgy,' he said. 'It will take courage tomorrow. We will need it all over the pitch. To go and play football and not get caught up with the occasion.

'We certainly don't look like a team that is playing under pressure. We were well in the game against Manchester City – we never allowed them to play their normal fluid game.

In the game: Lambert said his team frustrated Manchester City on Monday, with Gabby Agbonlahor (above) and Christian Benteke (below)

In the game: Lambert said his team frustrated Manchester City on Monday, with Gabby Agbonlahor (above) and Christian Benteke (below)

Christian Benteke

'I would like to think that everyone has fight in them to win a game – it's okay to be aggressive.

'But we need to play the game and not the occasion.'

Lambert has a few injury issues with which to contend. There was some positive news regarding Ron Vlaar who has come through a calf problem and is set to start.

But Fabian Delph's suspension and an ankle injury to Karim El Ahmadi might mean a first start for Yacouba Sylla, signed during the January transfer window from Clermont for 2m.

Aston Villa: (4-4-2) Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Vlaar, Baker; N'Zogbia, Sylla, Westwood, Agbonlahor; Benteke, Weimann.

Suspended: Delph

Injured: El Ahmadi, (ankle) Bent, (foot) Dunne (groin and hip) Albrighton. (toe)

Paul Lambert warns Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke against leaving Aston Villa for a bigger club too soon

Do you want to sit in the reserves Lambert warns Weimann and Benteke against move to bigger club too soon

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

Paul Lambert has warned his young strike-force that the grass isn't always greener as he tries to persuade both Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke to remain at Villa Park.

Villa face Manchester City tonight with two of the club's old boys, James Milner and Gareth Barry, likely to feature against their former club.

Both England midfielders left Villa when the financial bait from the current champions was set.

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

And now Lambert is facing a fight to keep hold of his two forwards.

Benteke has been linked with a move to Spurs and contract talks with Weimann are likely to resume only when the club's fate is known.

However, Lambert said that, given the duo's age and experience, they may be better off playing week in, week out, rather than becoming part of a squad.

'I think if you asked Gareth Barry and James Milner whether they enjoyed their time here, I'm pretty sure, without knowing them, that they would say they loved it.

'It was great for them. We are not necessarily a selling club. If someone gets more money somewhere else, then people will look at it.

'Everyone in this room would do the same.

'With Andy and Christian, you have to get into their heads and let them know what you think.

'The difference is those two are really young lads, I don’t know what age Gareth and James moved on, but those two are young.

'The thing is do they want to go to a side where they are sitting in the reserves and don’t get a shot at it'

Lambert's future plans to avoid drop have not been helped as it seems that Darren Bent will miss the next three weeks with a foot injury.

Bent has not been featuring ahead of Weimann or Benteke even when fit but the inclusion of an established international in Villa's match-day squad would be an obvious advantage.

'Darren is still struggling,' added Lambert. 'It is a little bit of a concern at the moment.'

James Milner

Gareth Barry

Return: James Milner and Gareth Barry both left Villa to join Manchester City

Andreas Weimann Aston Villa contract talks open

Aston Villa open contract talks with promising young striker Weimann

By
John Curtis, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:19 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 26 January 2013

Contract talks: Weimann (right)

Contract talks: Weimann (right)

Aston Villa have held initial discussions with striker Andreas Weimann over a new contract.

Weimann has 18 months left of his current deal and Villa are hoping to secure the long-term future of the Austria international.

The 21-year-old broke into the first team last season and scored a vital injury-time winner against Fulham as the midlands club stayed up by only two points.

But it is during the current campaign that he has made a sustained impact and is their second top scorer with nine goals.

Weimann has formed a productive partnership with 11-goal Christian Benteke and the duo have kept record signing Darren Bent out of the side for lengthy periods.

Weimann's form has been one of the few highlights in a dismal season in which Villa are involved in another relegation fight and suffered a double cup exit to lower-league Bradford and Millwall.

His tally includes a double in the 3-2 defeat against Manchester United and another in the 3-1 win at Liverpool.

Impact: Weimann has been a standout performer for Villa this year

Impact: Weimann has been a standout performer for Villa this year

Villa boss Paul Lambert recently described Weimann as a 'natural finisher.'

He said: 'The way Andreas conducts himself on the pitch and in training is excellent.

'He has been really on top of his game and taken his chance in the first team.'

Weimann joined Villa as a 16-year-old from Rapid Vienna and had two spells on loan at Watford before before signing a new three-year deal with his parent club in August 2011.

He won his first senior cap for his country against Kazakhstan in October.

Aston Villa 2 Ipswich 1: Weimann saves the day as Villans come from behind

Aston Villa 2 Ipswich 1: Bent makes a big difference and puts his case to Lambert

By
Myles Hodgson

PUBLISHED:

16:54 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 5 January 2013

Darren Bent presented a strong case for further inclusion in Aston Villa's first-team squad after sparking a comeback that helped to secure the club's first home win since November.

The England striker has fallen out of favour with manager Paul Lambert following the arrival of Christian Benteke, who has already contributed nine goals in his first season in English football.

A recent hamstring injury has further restricted Bent's opportunities but, given a rare start, he played a crucial role in ensuring Villa progressed to the fourth round.

Magic of the cup: Aston Villa's Darren Bent with the club mascot

Magic of the Cup: Aston Villa's Darren Bent with the club mascot

MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Given, Lichaj, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Albrighton (Weimann 43), Bannan, Delph, N'Zogbia (Ireland 70), Bowery (Agbonlahor 62), Bent. Subs not used: Guzan, Benteke, Stevens, Carruthers.

Scorers: Bent 46, Weimann 83.

Ipswich: Loach, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Smith, Cresswell, Martin, Reo-Coker, Hyam, Emmanuel-Thomas (McGoldrick 60), Chopra (Mclean 74), Murphy (Edwards 70). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Chambers, N'Daw, Whight.

Yellow cards: Kisnorbo, Hyam.

Scorer Chopra 31.

Attendance: 24,854.

Referee: Jon Moss.

His clinical finish from Charles
N'Zogbia's pass cancelled out Michael Chopra's opening goal before
Andreas Weimann scored a late winner to claim Villa's first home victory
since beating Reading on November 27.

'That was Darren Bent down to a T. I thought his game was very, very good,' said Lambert.

'His whole work ethic and the way he
played was good, his finishing was top class and I thought his whole
general game was really good, considering he only really trained with us
for the first time yesterday, so it was a big effort from him.'

Bent was one of seven changes to
Villa's starting line-up as Lambert rested players ahead of Tuesday's
Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Bradford and next Saturday's
crucial home game against relegation rivals Southampton.

Bent provided enough evidence to suggest he has unfinished business with Villa.

In with a shout: Michael Chopra of Ipswich celebrates the opening goal

In with a shout: Michael Chopra of Ipswich celebrates the opening goal

He provided the two chances during a
scrappy first half – whipping a cross past Jordan Bowery and then
heading his strike partner clear, only for the low shot to be saved by
goalkeeper Scott Loach.

That 30th-minute save proved pivotal, with Ipswich striker Chopra breaking to turn defender Nathan Baker.

out of reach: Ipswich keeper Scott Loach can't reach Andreas Weimann's strike for Aston Villa

out of reach: Ipswich keeper Scott Loach can't reach Andreas Weimann's strike for Aston Villa

What a relief: Aston Villa keeper Shay Given celebrates his side's winner

What a relief: Aston Villa keeper Shay Given celebrates his side's winner

His low shot was bundled into the net
off Eric Lichaj's legs. But Bent equalised in the first minute after
the restart as N'Zogbia threaded the pass through.

'The goal after half-time changed
the game,' said Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy. 'We handled them in the
first half but Bent's goal changed things.'

The equaliser gave Villa fresh
impetus and Weimann, brought on before half-time after Mark Albrighton
suffered a foot injury, continued his rich vein of scoring form with his
seventh of the season.

Oh dear: Bolton players celebrate Eric Lichaj's own goal

Oh dear: Bolton players celebrate Eric Lichaj's own goal

Shay Given could earn Aston Villa recall

Given poised to come to Villa's rescue as Lambert bids to plug leaky defence

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

20:15 GMT, 4 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:52 GMT, 4 January 2013

Shay Given is in line for a recall to Aston Villa’s team to face Ipswich on Saturday afternoon.

Villa have conceded 17 goals in their last four Premier League fixtures and boss Paul Lambert is deliberating whether he returns at Brad Guzan’s expense.

Lambert said: ‘Brad hasn’t been at fault for any of the goals but Shay definitely comes into my thinking for this.’

Recall Shay Given (left) could replace Brad Guzman in the Aston Villa goal

Recall Shay Given (left) could replace Brad Guzman in the Aston Villa goal

'I think it might have been harder for Brad if he was a young guy, but Brad is a top professional and really mentally strong.

'From that point of view, yes of course it hurts losing goals, but I don't think it will affect him, not knowing him the way I do.

'I certainly wouldn't put Brad out of the team for what has happened.

'I don't think it's Brad Guzan's fault for the 17 goals we've let in. If it was not for Brad Guzan, it might have been 34.'

Guzan has been the only one stopping more of Villa's results from being embarrassing

Hands and knees: Guzan has been the only one stopping more of Villa's results from being embarrassing

Given made himself available this week to play for the Republic of Ireland again after announcing his retirement in the aftermath of the European Championships.

And Lambert believes the veteran is still playing well enough to represent his country.

He said: 'If that's Shay's thinking, then fine. For me, the way he's trained and the way he's played in the games has been excellent.

'He is no doubt good enough to come back and play for Ireland and has played well in the Capital One Cup matches.

'I'm just fortunate to have two such fine keepers available to choose from.'

Darren Bent playing for Villa

Gabriel Agbonlahor in action for Aston Villa.

Experience: Lambert will be boosted soon by the return of Bent and Agbonlahor

Lambert concedes that he would like to rest striker Christian Benteke once Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent return from injury.

Benteke has endured a heavy schedule and played in all four of Villa's games over Christmas and the new year.

Lambert said: 'I'd like to rest Christian because he's played a lot of games. He's played a lot of games for Belgium and his season with Genk had started before he joined us in August.

'But with Gabby and even Darren out injured, it has not been great. There have been a lot of injuries up front.'

Randy Lerner to hand Paul Lambert January cash boost in bid to revive Aston Villa

Lerner set to hand Lambert January cash boost in bid to revive free-falling Villa

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UPDATED:

12:50 GMT, 31 December 2012

Under pressure: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Under pressure: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner will provide further financial backing to manager Paul Lambert during the January transfer window to help stave off the threat of relegation.

Lerner splashed out almost 23million to help Lambert rebuild the squad during last summer, with the accent on bringing in up and coming young talent.

There had been encouraging signs up to a fortnight ago with Villa reaching the Capital One Cup semi-finals via a 4-1 success at Norwich and then winning 3-1 over Liverpool at Anfield.

That victory was achieved with a side having an average age of less than 24 and was the youngest ever fielded in the Premier League.

But Villa's lack of experience, due in part to a lengthy and growing injury list, has been highlighted over the festive period with 15 goals conceded without reply in three games.

Villa's Christmas collapse

Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0 (Sun 23 Dec)

Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 4 (Wed 26 Dec)

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 (Sat 29 Dec)

Lerner and Lambert held talks about the approach to be taken next month before and after Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Wigan left Villa only a point above the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

Lambert also has the option of trying to offload some of the players who had only played a bit-part role even before becoming injured to bolster funds.

The likes of record signing Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given, and Stephen Ireland have made only a handful of starts this season.

Villa have also missed the leadership qualities of skipper Stiliyan Petrov who continues to battle against acute leukaemia.

Ouch: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd reflect on the 3-0 defeat against Wigan

Ouch: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd reflect on the 3-0 defeat against Wigan

Lambert retains the backing of the Villa fans and the boos after the latest setback against the Latics were more in frustration at a poor performance rather than being aimed directly at the Scot.

There is also no suggestion that his own position is under review with Lerner recognising the long term nature of the rebuilding job needed at Villa.

Jamie Redknapp: Arsenal should pay Theo Walcott what he wants

Weekend Watch: Walcott is the real deal, just pay him and play him

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 30 December 2012

Star Man: Theo Walcott

There were some typical frustrations from Theo Walcott on Saturday and I'm told some Arsenal fans were shouting 'sell him.' Are they mad Don't get wrapped up in a debate of where he plays, just let him play. And get him that new contract. Pay him what he wants.

Star attraction: Theo Walcott holds the match ball after scoring a hat-trick for Arsenal against Newcastle United on Saturday

Star attraction: Theo Walcott holds the match ball after scoring a hat-trick for Arsenal against Newcastle United on Saturday

Ba a bad loss

Newcastle have a lot of injuries and Cheick Tiote seems to have lost his hunger. Demba Ba has been carrying them. Take away his 13 league goals and they are in deep trouble. But with that get-out clause, no wonder Chelsea are interested. He'll be a great buy for them.

In the window: Demba Ba, scoring here for Newcastle against Arsenal at the weekend, is attracting interest from Chelsea ahead of the transfer window

In the window: Demba Ba, scoring here for Newcastle against Arsenal at the weekend, is attracting interest from Chelsea ahead of the transfer window

Impossible Bale

Did he dive, or didn't he I get six re-runs at Sky to make up my mind, our commentary team might get a couple working live. The referee gets one and I think they are guessing, as if tossing a coin. This time, referee Martin Atkinson was wrong. But Gareth Bale is so fast, they have my sympathy.

Frustration: Martin Atkinson books Bale for diving, earning him a one match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season

Frustration: Martin Atkinson books Bale for diving, earning him a one match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season

Sure on Shawcross

The saying in football that you can sometimes have your best games when you are not playing was prevalent at Stoke. They missed the organisational skills and ability to sense danger of their captain Ryan Shawcross. He's a good defender who will improve, too.

Commanding presence: Ryan Shawcross (centre) has impressed for Stoke so far this season

Commanding presence: Ryan Shawcross (centre) has impressed for Stoke so far this season

Keep cool with Paul

I like Paul Lambert, but he will need cool heads all around him now. The Aston Villa board need to back their manager in the window and the supporters have to hold their nerve. Most importantly, the players need to liven up and stop using their age as an excuse.

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

Osman's the man

He’s 31 and he’s English — and wasn’t it delightful to see Leon Osman going toe to toe with Juan Mata yesterday I was looking forward to seeing the Spaniard, who is having a wonderful season. But Osman (right) was every bit as good. He’s terrific for Everton.

Great season: Leon Osman of Everton is starting to realise his massive potential

Great season: Leon Osman of Everton is starting to realise his massive potential

Why sell Frank

It’s not because he’s my cousin, more that he makes such a difference to Chelsea . . . what are they doing letting Frank Lampard go Like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are symbols of Manchester United’s success, Frank (right) is such a top pro in that dressing room.

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Team of the season (so far…)

4-3-3: Begovic (Stoke, right); Zabaleta (Man C), Williams (Swansea), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton); Carrick (Man U), Michu (Swansea), Mata (Chelsea); Bale (Spurs), Suarez (Liverpool), Van Persie (Man U). No Cazorla or Fellaini, but I couldn’t fit them in. Sorry!

Paul Lambert believes Aston Villa will be fine

We'll be fine! Lambert admits Villa feeling negative after another rout but believes in his side

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UPDATED:

20:36 GMT, 29 December 2012

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was downcast after watching his side beaten 3-0 at home by fellow strugglers Wigan but still said his team would be 'fine'.

Since winning 3-1 at Liverpool on December 15, Villa have suffered three heavy defeats in a row, conceding a total of 15 goals and failing to score once themselves.

Only a last-minute Stoke equaliser against Southampton kept Villa out of the relegation places and Lambert said: 'The last three results have certainly hurt us.

Struggle: Paul Lambert cannot seem to get Villa firing

Struggle: Paul Lambert cannot seem to get Villa firing

'Everyone was positive after the Liverpool win but there is now a negativity after these three defeats.

'I understand that feeling but I have a belief that Aston Villa will be fine. The big disappointment is that there are a lot of experienced players out of the team.

'Andreas Weimann had to play at the last minute against Wigan despite having a leg injury. Once we get everyone back in January we will have to wait and see what happens.

'We had a decent spell in the first half when we looked like ourselves. We had a couple of half chances but in the second half there was no creativity. That was hard to take for sure.

'I will speak to the chairman to see what is happening in regard to bringing in some new players.

'I always knew it was going to be a massive job at Villa. It is a massive football club with a great tradition.

'This club has been in a survival battle for the last couple of years.

'The forthcoming Capital One Cup semi-final is not something that I have not really thought about to be honest. The bread and butter is the league. It always is. We are in a fight but so are the other teams.'

Despite their dire situation, Lambert paid tribute to the Villa fans.

He said: 'Since I've been here the fans have been brilliant with myself and the team.

Dejection: Villa's players seem to have lost heart in recent matches as games slipped away from them

Dejection: Villa's players seem to have lost heart in recent matches as games slipped away from them

'I never criticise the crowd here at Villa Park because they are behind the team. All we can do is our very best for the club. The fans have been brilliant and have gone away as hurt as we are. We have to stick together.

'I've been beaten up badly both as a player and as a manager. It happens. It was disappointing to lose to Wigan as it was an opportunity to climb the table.

'Spurs and Chelsea are fine teams but Wigan was an opportunity to pull away, especially at home. That is the disappointment. To be turned over 3-0 at home certainly hurts everyone.'

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was in an upbeat mood after goals from Ivan Ramis, Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone gave his side a comfortable win.

He said: 'It was a really tense game before it started as both Villa and ourselves are in a similar position. We tried to play in the right way and the result was very important.

'In terms of the performance I thought it was similar to that we showed against Everton and Arsenal in the last two games.

'We were very clinical in both boxes and defended well, keeping (Christian) Benteke quiet. He is a footballer who can make a difference at this level. We covered this threat really well and had very good concentration.

Off-colour: In the past few games Christian Benteke has not been at his best

Off-colour: In the past few games Christian Benteke has not been at his best

'At the other end I thought we had even more opportunities to score in the closing stages. The players applied themselves in a great manner to get the result.

'This season I thought we started very brightly but then had a few difficult moments, particularly in November and December when we have had to cope with a lot of injuries and suspensions.

'This has been tough not to get the rewards on the pitch and its put a lot of pressure on the players.

'Not many foreign players can come into this league and cope with the physical side of the game.

'The know-how is important and the likes of Kone and Ramis are good examples how they have adapted. Being able to play in Germany and Spain has helped them a great deal.

'I was really impressed with Kone and I think he could have scored another couple of goals. But it will have boosted his confidence.

'Unfortunately we are losing players to the African tournament and other managers will tell you how difficult it is to lose important players at such a crucial stage of the season. I am sure that other players will come in and take the opportunity to shine.'

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 – match report

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3: Lambert's hapless youngsters wiped out yet again by rampant Latics

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 29 December 2012

Crisis club Aston Villa alarmingly dropped deeper into a Premier League relegation battle with another abject performance against Wigan.

The visitors, meanwhile, moved out of the bottom three with a conclusive victory to record their first win in seven matches which highlighted Villa's dramatic shortcomings.

Villa, watched by club owner Randy Lerner, never recovered from a disastrous start when Ivan Ramis gave the Latics a morale-boosting lead after only three minutes.

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj (Albrighton 64), Lowton, Ireland (El Ahmadi 63), Holman (Bowery 63), Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke.

Subs not used: Given, Westwood, Stevens, Carruthers.

Booked: Bannan, Lowton, Weimann.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 65), Beausejour (Gomez 79), Kone (McManaman 87), Di Santo, Maloney.

Subs: Pollitt, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.

Booked: Boyce, Maloney.

Goals: Ramos 3, Boyce 52, Kone 56.

Att: 33,374.

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

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Two goals in the space of four minutes
early in the second half from Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone sealed
Villa's fate as their confidence visibly evaporated. They have now
shipped 15 goals in three games.

In the continued absence of such
players as Darren Bent, Richard Dunne, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles
N'Zogbia and Nathan Baker, the options open to under-pressure manager
Paul Lambert are very limited as illustrated in this latest defeat.

Just how much a lightweight Villa are
missing the commanding presence of Dunne was highlighted as early as the
third minute when Wigan took a shock lead.

Villa's inability to defend set-pieces
was blatantly exposed in the third minute after the ball ran out for a
corner as Matthew Lowton appeared to handle.

Jean Beausejour's accurate corner was
perfectly placed for the unmarked Ivan Ramis to mark his return to
action after missing six games with a powerful header past the
transfixed Brad

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion