Lively Villa delight Lambert
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes his team are "bouncing" with positivity as they scrap to retain their top-flight status this season. The Scot has never wavered in his belief that this young Villa side will stay in the Barclays Premier League, despite being in the relegation mire for much of the season. That confidence has been justified in recent weeks, winning three of four before Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Fulham. While Villa let a lead slip to lose two points in the battle for survival, the one they did earn at least helped them three points ahead of 18th-placed Wigan, though the Latics have two games in hand. Lambert insisted the draw was a good result despite Fabian Delph's own goal gifting Fulham a point after Charles N'Zogbia's opener. The Scot is particularly happy with his side's performances and spirit. "The pleasing thing at the moment is the players are performing," he said. "They are getting going. If you can get a couple of wins, that will be great. We have certainly put a lot of pressure on everybody. "The thing is we are not going into games thinking 'we're not playing well, we don't know what's going to happen.' We are right in it. "I have nothing but praise for the fans too. It's a demanding place but you have to handle it. With the noise and atmosphere, the crowd are right behind us. "The team are bouncing off them. That's a powerful thing. That's what is happening at the minute." Lambert was quick to praise midfielder Delph, who played well against the Londoners despite his own goal and a costly miss at the other end. "He made an honest mistake," he said. "He tried to head it away, which we ask him to do. "His performance was excellent, he has made an honest mistake, you can only ask for honesty. He was unlucky. "He had a chance to score. He is playing ever so well. He has had a tough time with injuries but he's on a sustainable run. Him and Ashley Westwood are playing very, very well together. "You have to give him a lot of credit. He has been hampered by bad injuries but now he is playing really, really well." Delph has seemingly tempered his aggressive tackling instincts following a recent ban and Lambert added: "I don't think you can curtail enthusiasm. "Some of the tackles he goes in for, he wins a lot of balls to be fair to him. He has great desire for the game of football. You can't curtail that." Lambert's opposite number Martin Jol backed Villa to beat the drop. "If you don't win games and others do, you'll go down," he said. "But this is a big club and they can stay up."
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