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Lambert confident of beating drop
Paul Lambert is backing his Aston Villa side to win their survival battle, despite lacking the funds Tuesday's opponents Newcastle have to strengthen their squad.
Villa manager Lambert has only limited funds to add to his squad, although he admits he needs "a few in" before the window closes at 11pm on Thursday.
However, he will not criticise the policy of Villa owner-chairman Randy Lerner, who has spent in excess of #250million during his time at the club.
Lambert said: "We need a few in. I'm not going to say `we need four or five' because people will have a perception of what they think. I know in my own head.
"We are not close to anything like that (what Newcastle have spent). I'm pretty sure the chairman knows exactly what he is doing.
"It's his money and he's the man who has put X amount of money into the club over the years. I'm not going to come out and tell the chairman he must do X, Y and Z. I am not going to do it."
Lambert knows it is crucial Villa "hold their nerve" for the scrap that lies ahead to retain top-flight status.
He said: "Is the squad good enough to keep Villa up? Yes. Every game we go into I think we will win it. There's a lot of teams in and around it thinking the same.
"The difference is Newcastle can go and buy and we can't do it, and that's fine. You have to go with it.
"You have to fight for everything. Every game is going to have to be a cup final. Every game, we are going to have to go for it."
Midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
Lambert has to decide whether to risk a recall for central defender Richard Dunne, who has started training after a lengthy lay-off with a groin problem.
The Scot will also check on the fitness of utility defender Nathan Baker who has returned to training after a hamstring injury.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will include four of his January signings in the squad.
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is likely to start at Villa Park along with full-back Mathieu Debuchy, while defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and striker Yoan Gouffran could also be involved and 20-year-old full-back Massadio Haidara will travel, but will not feature.
Midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) is fit and striker Papiss Cisse is expected to shake off a training-ground knock, but although full-back Danny Simpson (broken toe) and utility-man Ryan Taylor (knee) are back in training, midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) is still several weeks away from a return.
Pardew is hoping to relaunch Newcastle's season after admitting the Demba Ba saga had hit them hard.
The Magpies head for Villa Park sitting just two points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with their hosts one of only four clubs in a worse position.
They will do so, however, having responded to the loss of leading scorer Ba to Chelsea after they activated his infamous #7million release-clause after months of speculation by plunging into the January transfer market with gusto.
Pardew said: "It's a kind of restart for us because we are so much stronger in terms of depth and quality within the group.
"We have got Yohan coming back, and he's like a new player; Debuchy has come into the building and settled quickly, [Sylvain] Marveaux is playing well, and then the new boys on top of that.
"The loss of Demba, I think, really impacted on us. You only have to look at the goals scored and you would have to say it has.
"We have had to react to that and hopefully, we have reacted in the right way.
"We have had a small squad since I have been here and now for the first time, I think I have the full allocation, and that goes without the injury crisis we have suffered this particular year.
"We are up to full strength really and now it is about making sure we get the victories we need to build on this."
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