Lambert keen on Albrighton talks
Published 10/02/2014 | 13:12
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is willing to sit down with young midfielder Marc Albrighton in a bid to keep him at the club.
Albrighton has been with Villa since he was a trainee, signing his first professional contract in the summer of 2008, although he has only made 91 appearances in total over the past five and a half years.
The 24-year-old, who was loaned out to Wigan earlier this season, has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons.
But not for the first time Albrighton showed on Saturday the talent he possesses after coming on as a 56th-minute substitute soon after Villa had gone 2-0 down to West Ham.
Although it was a situation Villa failed to recover from, Albrighton did enough to suggest he should start what is another key Barclays Premier League relegation clash at Cardiff on Tuesday, and be handed a new deal soon.
Asked whether he was planning to thrash out a new deal with Albrighton, Lambert said: "I'll definitely sit down and talk to him.
"It's just the way things have worked out with games, his injuries, one after the other, but I know he's out of contract, so I'll sit down with him.
"Every time he has come on for me he has done well. He's just been really unlucky with his injuries which have kept him out for a long spell.
"But he was excellent on Saturday. He put some great balls in, he hit the post and set up the chance for Christian (Benteke) when he hit the bar.
"He was a plus point, the one really bright spot for us."
Albrighton aside, Villa's performance against the Hammers proved to be another dismal home affair which has increased the pressure on them to get a result at Cardiff.
Villa are now just four points above the relegation zone, yet Lambert is confident the club will avoid the drop, as they did last year when they were in a far more precarious position.
"There are two ways to look at it - (the situation) will either take you under, or you thrive on the challenge," said Lambert.
"It's the same as last year. You either meet it head-on or it takes you under.
"We came through last year when we were in a worse position than now, so we will come through this one.
"If you look at it everybody is capable of beating everybody else, with one win taking you up the table, one defeat dropping you down. That is the way it is at the moment."
The one downside for Lambert in visiting Cardiff is that close friend and fellow Scot Malky Mackay is no longer in charge after he was sacked just after Christmas.
Despite getting Cardiff promoted to the top flight last summer, Mackay found himself at the mercy of controversial owner Vincent Tan.
"I've spoken to him, but it's not something where I've sat and asked 'What happened?'," said Lambert.
"The job he did was excellent, getting promoted, which is never an easy thing to do, and he had the crowd right behind him.
"But football is a strange game at times.
"It's still going to be a really good atmosphere, and whether Malky was in charge or not, it was always going to be a hard game."
Lambert has doubts over defenders Ryan Bertrand (ribs) and Ron Vlaar (hamstring).