Holman urges Villa to 'get stuck in'
Winger Brett Holman believes Aston Villa can take confidence from their performances against Manchester United and Arsenal ahead of tomorrow evening's home clash with fellow strugglers Reading.
Villa were edged out 3-2 by United after leading 2-0 and came within inches at the weekend of defeating Arsenal when Holman's shot hit the bar during the latter stages of the goalless draw.
The midlands club climbed out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for 24 hours with that share of the spoils but dropped back below the safety line after Southampton's victory over Newcastle yesterday.
When asked how much being in the bottom three was a talking point, Holman said: "Not at all really. Everyone knows about it but we never really spoke about it in the dressing room.
"It's still early doors. Obviously, everyone knows what situation we are in. We are all grown-ups and we have all been around the block.
"We need to grit out teeth, get stuck in and do things correctly.
"Considering the previous two matches were lost, the point against Arsenal has given us a good boost ahead of Tuesday.
"I think we can look back at the games against United and Arsenal and say we are doing well. We need to sort our away form out, but it's looking better."
Lambert will return to the dugout after serving a one-match touchline ban against the Gunners.
Villa skipper Ron Vlaar is doubtful to face the Royals after the central defender suffered a calf injury against Arsenal and was substituted early in the second half.
If he is ruled out, then Matt Lowton is likely to switch to partnering Ciaran Clark at the heart of the defence with Eric Lichaj being recalled at right-back.
Jay Tabb has demanded Reading regroup immediately from their frustrating defeat at Wigan.
The Royals slumped to a 3-2 injury-time loss at the DW Stadium on Saturday having led 1-0 and later pegging Wigan back to 2-2.
Another Barclays Premier League relegation battle looms at Villa Park and Tabb believes victory is within their grasp.
"We've just got to forget about Wigan and go and win the next game," the 28-year-old midfielder said.
"We were looking to get four or six points out of the two matches, but we'll try to take maximum points.
"We certainly feel we're capable of winning against any team this season, but we've got to turn these leads into wins."
The defeat at Wigan dropped Reading to 19th in the table and left spirits deflated just seven days after securing their first Premier League victory of the season against Everton.
Only Liverpool and Southampton from the bottom half of the Premier League have scored more goals and Tabb admits defence is the side's Achilles heel.
"We've had a bit of bad luck this season and the second goal against Wigan was a total fluke," Tabb said.
"We had other chances and we're creating enough ourselves, but we're just giving away too many.
"The consolation is that we've been in a winning position in near enough every game this season.
"But it's just so disheartening when you don't take these chances and at least take a point.
"We've had our fair share of draws this season and I'm not saying Wigan is a game we should have won because of the amount of chances they had, but we should have done better."
Reading midfielder Jimmy Kebe will miss the clash.
Kebe had returned to training after being sidelined with a groin problem, but will miss out once more.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and midfielders Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan remain in the treatment room.