'No fear of relegation battle', says Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert senses his players have no fear of being involved in a Barclays Premier League relegation battle ahead of their meeting with champions Manchester City.
Villa slipped into the bottom three for the fourth time this season when they were beaten 2-1 at Arsenal last weekend. But Villa manager Lambert insists his squad are in the right frame of mind for the challenges promised by the next 11 matches.
"The thing we'll see is the players are up for it, that is for sure. I don't see them being frightened or a lack of confidence or anything like that at all," Lambert said.
"I never get a sense on the training ground that it has been really down. I can't argue the last few weeks with the way they've been playing. They've given it a right good go. I've not sensed they are scared at all. They've got to embrace the challenge. I think if you go the other way you will get frightened by it and I don't think there is any reason to be frightened by it."
Lambert is determined that Villa will come through their current strife and enjoy a brighter future after three years of either flirting with or being directly involved in a relegation battle.
He said: "The club has been in and around it for three years. It's nothing new. But you have to look forward and think you are going to get out of it. You have to believe this is going to be a brand new dawn. It has to be, otherwise there's no point being here. You have to change it.
"You have to stay in the league, to keep believing what you are doing is right, keep focusing on your beliefs and I'll never deviate from that."
Lambert admits he is driven on by the challenge of managing in the Premier League rather than the financial incentives of being in the top flight.
He said: "I think the finances in the Premier League are vast and everyone wants to be in the Premier League. I don't now look at it and think you want to be in because of financial reasons but because it is the best league, the best stadia. Everything about the Premier League is fantastic."
When asked if players have contracts which are linked to being relegated, Lambert said: "Myself and Randy Lerner (club owner) speak all the time about things. I know exactly what's happened."
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