independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lambert driven 'potty' by basic mistakes

Paul Lambert has been left frustrated by his team's defending

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits the number of goals his side are conceding from set pieces is driving him "potty".

Villa's vulnerability at free-kicks and corners has been severely punished and is a key reason why they are locked in a Barclays Premier League relegation battle. It proved expensive again on Saturday as West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie scored a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw after Gareth McAuley had won the initial header from Chris Brunt's corner.

Lambert said: "It does drive you mad. It's not rocket science. You go man for man. If it's your man who scores, then we know who was supposed to pick them up. If you're up against an opponent, you just have to make sure that you go and put your head on it."

He went on: "Is it a mental thing? I'm not sure why it is. It's just a bog-standard ball into the box (for Odemwingie's equaliser)."

And Lambert also knows Villa paid the price in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Bradford as they attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit on Tuesday.

"We saw it against Bradford. We have to make sure we get a head on the ball," he went on.

"Does it drive me potty? Yes, it does. We practice and practice and practice them. You can never replicate that in a match but they know their jobs."

Skipper Ron Vlaar, who made his comeback after a lengthy absence with a calf problem against Albion, said: "It is obvious we have to concede less goals and make that area better.

"It shouldn't happen that easy from set pieces because they are cheap goals we are giving away. If you can't head the ball yourself, you have to make sure your opponent doesn't either.

"You could see what we were capable of against Albion with the way we played. It is too bad we conceded another goal from a corner kick."

Press Association

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