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Villa In The Press


Eastie

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Guest Morpheus

Since we didn't take the reported option to buy before the window closed and offered 5m to buy Lambert from Liverpool i'm hoping that signifies the end of our interest in him.

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Birmingham Mail: Alan Hutton has spoken of the unity within the Aston Villa camp and their determination to turn things around. "It's about concentrating on Chelsea. We need total focus on that game," he said. "We're hurting after the loss at Arsenal and it's about channelling that in the right direction. "The key for me is not dwelling on defeat for too long. I don't think that gets you anywhere. You don't want it to affect the next game. "We've looked at the match, discussed it, had time to think about it, but now it's on to the challenge of Chelsea."

Sutton Coldfield Observer: Alan Hutton says that new Aston Villateam-mate Scott Sinclair has already shown a 'touch of class' since joining the club on loan. Sinclair completed his move from Manchester Citylast week, and made his Villa bow as a substitute in the defeat at Arsenal on Sunday. Hutton believes that the wingerwill be a 'top signing' for Paul Lambert's side. "He has showed a touch of class since he's been here," the Scottish full-back says. "He is very sharp. You can see how goodhe is technically. He is excellent with the ball at his feet.

ClubCall: Everton have reignited their interest in Tom Cleverley and will rival Aston Villa for his signature come the end of the season. The Villans beat off competition from the Toffees last summer to bring the Manchester United midfielder to Villa Park on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day and Paul Lambert is eager to make the 25-year-old's stay permanent. Cleverley's contract at Old Trafford is set to expire at the end of the campaign and he is likely to attract the attention of several clubs, with Villa and Everton at the head of the queue. Despite having failed to land him last year, Everton boss Roberto Martinez is reportedly confident of persuading the England international to move to Merseyside having worked with him previously while in charge of Wigan.

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Just goes to show Lambert's skills,let's a striker go on loan before getting a new one,knob head! For me 5mil for Lambert is ridiculous hes 32 ffs,Coco prob shitting himself now,relegation looming.Can't believe he still wants cleverly,WTF does he see? Please someone educate me on the outstanding talent that Cleverly is.......I can't see it!

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Daily Star: Scott Sinclair says he can't wait to watch Match of the Day - and actually be on it. The 25-year-old is bidding to revive his career after over two years in the wilderness following a £6m move to Manchester City. Sinclair has made just three starts and reveals he jumped at the chance to join Aston Villa on loan. He said: "Every single time I would train on Saturday and go back home and watch Match of the Day and it gets disheartening. It is so hard. "As soon as I signed for Villa my mates were saying 'I am coming up to watch you.' "The feeling when you win a game and you score a goal…nothing beats it and that's what I want to get back."

Birmingham Mail: Villa winger Jack Grealish could face a scramble for his services with Wolves heading a queue of half a dozen Championship clubs keen to take him on loan. The arrivals of Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair during the January transfer window have forced the 19-year-old down the pecking order in Paul Lambert's squad. Grealish could be made available for another loan away from Villa this month after impressing during a stint at Notts County last term.

Birmingham Mail: Villa are stepping up their hunt for a new assistant manager. Boss Paul Lambert has been without an official No.2 for ten weeks after Roy Keane's highly publicised exit at the end of November. Previously, the Scot had played down the importance of recruiting a new right-hand man as first-team coach Scott Marshall filled the void left by Keane's departure. But it's understood an active search is under way which will be intensified in the coming weeks.

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Daily Mail: Christian Benteke has been watching video nasties after Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert revealed they have gone back to basics to revive his season. The striker has bagged just two Barclays Premier League goals this term after returning from a ruptured achilles in October. Villa host Chelsea on Saturday having failed to score in 10 hours and 12 minutes in the league - since Benteke netted against Manchester United in December. But the striker has struggled since and has been studying videos with the Villa coaching staff of where he can improve in a bid to rescue his form.

Daily Mirror: Paul Lambert insists it is unfair to blame Christian Benteke for Aston Villa's goal drought but admits the forward is suffering "a dip". Star striker Benteke has struggled for goals and consistency since returning from achilles surgery last term. Boss Lambert also knows Villa's stats show the forward's work-rate is down this season. His misfiring has contributed to Villa going more than 10 hours without scoring in the Premier League ahead of leaders Chelsea's visit at the weekend. Benteke scored 11 goals last term and 23 the year before in a stunning debut campaign but has just three this season. Lambert knows he must cure the forward's loss of form after failing to bring in a striker in January when Rickie Lambert opted to stay at Liverpool.

Daily Star: Paul Lambert hopes someone is going to cop it soon from Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker with the physique of a heavyweight boxer is on the ropes after a dismal dip in form. The £20m rated ace has managed just two league goals in 14 outings since returning from surgery on a ruptured achilles. Benteke's slump has coincided with Villa's goal drought of more than 10 hours in the league. Villa now have the dubious task of facing league leaders Chelsea tomorrow on the back of a 5-0 drubbing at Arsenal last week. But Lambert believes Benteke will shut up his critics and is adamant Villa won't be relegated.

Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert was "disappointed" to miss out on Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert as he tried to add some badly-needed firepower to his goal-shy Aston Villa side. Villa, without a goal in six Premier League matches, reportedly offered £5m in a desperate deadline-day swoop for the England international. But Lambert is understood to have rejected the move, preferring instead to fight for his place in a Liverpool team still going strong in three competitions. Landing Lambert would have been a huge boost to Villa's attacking options with Christian Benteke, Andi Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor all floundering in front of goal. And the Villa boss admitted it was a blow, having watched his team score just 11 league goals this season, nine fewer than any other top-flight side.

Daily Telegraph: Paul Lambert has admitted that Christian Benteke's struggles have added to his growing list of problems at Aston Villa. Benteke's slump in form has been magnified by Villa's run of more than 10 hours without a goal in the Premier League. The Belgium international has scored only two league goals since his return from an achilles injury in October but his dismal performances are proving even more of a concern. Lambert moved to ease the pressure on Benteke with a £5m bid for Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert on deadline day but the deal collapsed when the England international opted to stay on Merseyside. The Villa manager is expected to keep faith in Benteke for the visit of Chelsea, with his attacking options limited, and insists the club are determined to help the 24-year-old emerge from his problems.

Glasgow Evening Times: Paul Lambert admits he is desperately trying to help Christian Benteke rediscover his best form as Aston Villa's season of struggle in front of goal continues. The striker has hit just three goals in 17 games this term after returning from a ruptured achilles in October. Villa have not scored in 10 hours and 12 minutes in the Barclays Premier League and have netted just 11 league goals in 23 games this season, with Benteke struggling to hit the heights of previous years.

Birmingham Mail: Defensive linchpin Ron Vlaar should make the matchday squad against Chelsea, but the game could come too soon for him to start. The towering Dutchman has not featured since limping off with a knee injury 15 minutes into the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at Villa Park on New Year's Day. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert said the World Cup star had resumed full training and was nearing a return to first-team action. "He's trained this week and if he comes through tomorrow he'll be in the squad," Lambert said during his Chelsea pre-match press conference at Villa Park on Thursday. Scott Sinclair, who joined Villa on loan from Manchester City last week, could make his first start in claret and blue after coming on as a sub in the 5-0 thumping at Arsenal.

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Daily Mail: Fabian Delph believes Aston Villa are capable of inflicting another shock defeat on Chelsea despite a run of 10 hours and 12 minutes without a Premier League goal. Villa stunned Jose Mourinho's side 11 months ago when Delph scored a late winner in an acrimonious game which effectively ended Chelsea's title aspirations. Chelsea players Willian and Ramires, and Mourinho himself, were sent off and the Chelsea manager was fined for confronting referee Chris Foy. Delph's goal, a deft back-heel, boosted Villa's survival ambitions. Paul Lambert's team need similar help now — they lie three points above the relegation zone in 16th having not won in eight matches.

Daily Star: Jose Mourinho could be forgiven for giving Fabian Delph a sly kick in the tunnel as Chelsea bid to banish their Villa Park demons from last season. Villa midfielder Delph put a severe dent in Chelsea's title hopes last March when he scored one of the goals of the season. Delph's brilliant effort with only minutes to go was enough to send Mourinho home on the wrong end of a shock 1-0 defeat. It catapulted the 25-year-old into the England frame into the bargain. Delph admits he'd love a repeat and it doesn't have to be anywhere near as memorable as the one that sank Chelsea last time around. The midfielder went on a snaking run from inside his own half and then scored with an audacious back-heeled flick to leave Chelsea choking.

Birmingham Mail: Fabian Delph is targeting a repeat of last year's shock win over Chelsea as he bids to add more goals to his ever-improving game. Aston Villa's stand-in captain scored the winning goal last term that effectively kept his side in the league and ended Jose Mourinho's chances of winning the title. The 1-0 win came against all the odds as Villa only managed one further victory in their final nine games of the season. Saturday's clash at Villa Park will not define their campaign, but Delph is determined to pull off another surprise.

ESPN: Fabian Delph insists Aston Villa can shock Chelsea again and hand Manchester City a title lifeline. The midfielder believes goal-shy Villa can upset the odds against the Premier League leaders on Saturday. Paul Lambert's side have not scored in 10 hours and 12 minutes in the league and were thumped 5-0 by Arsenal last week. Chelsea arrive at Villa Park top of the table by five points, ahead of City who travel to Hull. Villa are three points above the drop zone and have won just twice in their last 19 league games. Delph scored as Villa beat Jose Mourinho's side 1-0 in March last season and, despite netting just 11 times this term, reckons they can do it again.

Independent: Carlos Sanchez could be forgiven if his mind wanders back to sunnier times when he steps out at Villa Park before this afternoon's fixture with Chelsea. For the Aston Villa midfielder, the sight of Juan Cuadrado, his international colleague, warming up across the pitch with his new club Chelsea may well stir memories of the thrill of last summer when the pair were part of a Colombia side that illuminated the World Cup with some brilliant goals - and mad dance moves - during a giddy ride to the last eight. Just as with last Sunday's reunion with Arsenal's Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, however, the Villa man now has different priorities from his old friend; where Cuadrado has joined Chelsea's pursuit of the big prizes, Sanchez has a more modest ambition: survival. Villa have not won in the Premier League since 7 December. They have taken three points from their last eight games. And - the big stat of the week after that 5-0 thumping by Arsenal - they have now not scored for a club record six league matches, leaving them with only 11 league goals all season. It paints a pretty bleak picture going into Paul Lambert's 100th Premier League game as Villa manager, yet Sanchez, breaking into a smile, is evidently not somebody easily cowed. "I am a very optimistic person," he tells The Independent. "I don't know if it is because I've come up right from the bottom but I am someone who always thinks you can make things better."

Birmingham Mail: Carlos Sanchez is no stranger to a challenge - which is why he's confident he can help ease Aston Villa's current woes. The Colombian battled incredible times of adversity in his quest to perform in the Premier League. Sanchez and his team-mates take on the leaders Chelsea on Saturday afternoon looking to end a slump which has seen them rapidly drop down the table. Goal-shy Villa haven't scored for over ten hours, but Sanchez believes it will soon change. "I am a very optimistic person. I don't know if it is because I've come up right from the bottom but I am someone who always thinks you can make things better," he added.

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