Lambert relaxed over club situation
Published 24/04/2014 | 19:17
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists he is relaxed about the club's current situation and has stressed he "fully intends" to remain as manager, regardless of who owns the midlands outfit.
Villa have had a turbulent time of it of late, with a run of five games without a win - four of them defeats - seeing them sucked into the Barclays Premier League relegation battle, two of the coaching staff being suspended and speculation growing that chairman Randy Lerner is ready to sell the club.
In a statement released on Sunday, American Lerner said he would address the "steady rumours of a sale" after the season has finished.
And when asked about that on Thursday at his press conference to preview Saturday's trip to Swansea, Lambert said: "He (Lerner) was over here on Tuesday.
"I had a chat with him. Not a long chat. I am the manager of the football club but I am not privy to everything that goes on.
"His statement to me was pretty clear - he will address everything at the end of the season. Everyone must respect that. This is his club, you have to respect his decision.
"It will become clear, I am pretty sure, when he decides what he has to say.
"I am relaxed. I am not uptight about anything. I am here to win football matches. That's always the case."
A takeover of Villa could bring further questions about the future of Lambert, under whom they finished 15th last term, his first season in charge.
The Scot is keeping an open mind about what might happen, but has emphasised that he wants to stay, whether Lerner remains in control or not.
Lambert, whose side are currently five points clear of the relegation zone in 15th place with four more games to go, said: "If a new owner comes in, you have a conversation. That's normal.
"But I fully intend to be here. That's me being totally honest.
"If people come in, you sit with them and see what happens. If not, you sit with Randy, which I tend to do at the end of the season."
Both on Sunday and in a statement released a few days earlier following the suspension of assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa, Lerner appeared to express sympathy for Lambert, referring to the manager's handling of "unexpected issues" and the injuries that his squad has been hit by this season.
Lambert, meanwhile, has expressed his frustration at the "position of mediocrity" he feels the club have been in stretching back to before his arrival, and the need for future investment - although he also says he would not change the experience he has had so far with Villa.
He said on Thursday: "With the size of this football club, with the fanbase it's got, I never came here to sit like this. It's been like this for the last four years.
"But it's been an incredible experience these past two years.
"Would I have changed the experience? No. Because it will make you stronger.
"The lads have always given me everything they have. I don't think anyone can argue with that. We have had our ups and downs.
"But this football club has been in a position these past four years of mediocrity. That's the bottom line.
"It will need investment, that's for sure, to compete at the top end.
"The football club will need a kick-on.
"I think Randy has been brilliant with that since he's been here. He's been excellent with me on that side of it.
"But if you're going to go and buy players - the ones I have been linked with - then you will need money."
Meanwhile, Lambert says he is pleased Yacouba Sylla is disappointed at having had limited game-time - even if he is less than impressed with the Villa midfielder's recent comments on the matter.
Sylla - who has made only four appearances, all as a substitute, this calendar year - was quoted this week as saying he is looking to leave the club on loan in the summer due his unhappiness at spending so much time on the bench.
And Lambert said: "I understand any player's frustration at not playing.
"You wouldn't expect people to just sit there and not play. You are glad on that aspect.
"Should he have spoken about it? Probably not. But that comes with experience.
"I am glad he's disappointed at not playing. That's normal.
"The three lads in the middle of the pitch have been doing really well for us, though. So Yac just has to do his utmost to get in the side."