Belfast Telegraph

Lambert: We will rise again

Paul Lambert vowed Aston Villa will rise again as he prepares to mark his 100th game in charge.

The Scot will reach his milestone against in-form Southampton on Monday with Villa in desperate need of a win.

He has won just 30 of his 99 games so far, losing 48 and drawing 21 since joining from Norwich in 2012.

Villa have battled relegation for the past four seasons, two under Lambert, but the manager insisted they can revive themselves.

"You have to earn the right to get up there. Teams and clubs will always go through difficult spells," he said.

"If you look at Borussia Dortmund for example they beat Monchengladbach to come out of the bottom three.

"Nobody would believe that, how has that happened because if you look at the Champions League and they are absolutely flying.

"Teams have little ropey times they will come through.

"I think every football management job is hard, you don't have success all the time, it is like a bubble which appears now and again, then it goes away and you don't see it for a few years."

They are winless in seven games in the Barclays Premier League ahead of the Saints' visit and Lambert knows Villa must improve after years of struggle.

"We have to do a lot better, this club is too big a club and too good a club to keep doing what it has been doing," he said.

"It has to get up there, it is too big this football club.

"You have to earn the right to get there and work your backside off to get there.

"It is not just going to come to you. You have to earn the right to get it.

"You want this place to be really vibrant every single week when you play home and away and you want to compete with everybody.

"It doesn't matter if you are playing top six you want to keep going high."

Lambert is without defenders Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos (both calf) and Nathan Baker (knee) while Christian Benteke is suspended and Fabian Delph (shoulder) is out until the New Year.

And while facing the Saints, who have won 11 of their last 12 games, is a marker for Lambert he insisted he will not dwell on it.

He said: "I never look back on football or my own career or what I have done. I don't live in the past of it - whether it has been successful or not successful.

"If it is 100 games, it is 100, if you are lucky enough to get 101, 102 or 103 you take it.

It's a great thing being manager of this club I don't think anyone should underestimate it.

"It's a magical football club."

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