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Saturday 30 August 2014

Villas-Boas hails Lambert's courage

Published 24/12/2012 | 13:19

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Andre Villas-Boas, pictured, has praised Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has hailed the courage of Paul Lambert for the way he dropped Darren Bent and placed his faith in Christian Benteke.

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Aston Villa manager Lambert caught many in the game by surprise earlier this season when he decided to drop club record signing Bent and replace him with the little-known Belgian. The decision looked unwise at first, with Benteke struggling in his first few matches, but he has come into a rich vein of form in recent weeks.

And ahead of his side's Boxing Day encounter at Villa Park, Villas-Boas said: "He has been outstanding, for sure. He has eight goals so far. I think he is surprising everybody. To his credit he has come up strong. He has strong competition from Bent."

He went on: "I think Paul Lambert was courageous in his decision to keep on persisting with a player that he got so well in the transfer market so credit to them. But it is good to see him up there."

Lambert moved to Villa following a successful spell at Norwich, but he initially struggled at the midlands club as he started building a new team with the emphasis on youth, rather than experience.

They put in a poor performance at White Hart Lane two months ago, with the likes of Benteke, Brett Holman and Fabian Delph all looking out of their depth.

But Villas-Boas - speaking before Villa's 8-0 mauling at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday - points to the recent 3-1 win at Liverpool as evidence that the midlands club are improving.

"Their result in Anfield was tremendous," Villas-Boas said.

"So it will be a difficult game.

"Credit to Paul Lambert for overturning a situation that was difficult for him in the beginning. He has a young team, full of energy, so it will be a different type of opposition to the Stoke game, but an excellent game for sure."

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