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Friday 22 August 2014

I need new players but we’ll still beat the drop, vows Villa boss Paul Lambert

John Curtis

Published 28/01/2013 | 15:16

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26 January, 2013: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert reacts during their FA Cup fourth round soccer match against Millwall at The Den. Lambert's Aston Villa side were beaten 2-1

PAUL LAMBERT is backing his Aston Villa side to win their survival battle, despite lacking the funds tomorrow's opponents Newcastle have to strengthen their squad.

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Magpies owner Mike Ashley has given substantial financial backing to manager Alan Pardew during the January transfer window, as the scrap to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League hots up.

Villa manager Lambert has only limited funds to add to his squad, although he admits he needs "a few in" before the window closes at 11pm on Thursday.

However, he will not criticise the policy of Villa owner-chairman Randy Lerner, who has spent in excess of £250million during his time at the club.

Lambert said: "We need a few in. I'm not going to say 'we need four or five' because people will have a perception of what they think. I know in my own head.

"We are not close to anything like that (what Newcastle have spent). I'm pretty sure the chairman knows exactly what he is doing.

"It's his money and he's the man who has put X amount of money into the club over the years. I'm not going to come out and tell the chairman he must do X, Y and Z. I am not going to do it.

"If you are asking me if there will be a vast amount of money available in this window, there won't be. But you can only play with the hand you are dealt with.

"We brought in some lads in the summer. I knew the club had to rebuild. Randy wanted us to rebuild it. I knew that. We have brought in seven players.

"At this minute there is not much really happening. There's been guys we went for who have gone to other clubs."

Lambert knows it is crucial Villa "hold their nerve" for the scrap that lies ahead to retain top-flight status.

He said: "Is the squad good enough to keep Villa up? Yes. Every game we go into I think we will win it. There's a lot of teams in and around it thinking the same.

"The difference is Newcastle can go and buy and we can't do it, and that's fine. You have to go with it.

"You have to fight for everything. Every game is going to have to be a cup final. Every game, we are going to have to go for it.

"We have to win and there are a few teams in the same situation. We have to hold our nerve and fight for everything."

Lambert also stressed the need to keep hold of 11-goal striker Christian Benteke, after weekend speculation linking him with a summer move to a host of clubs.

He said: "There's no point me trying to build something if it keeps getting dismantled. I don't think you can do that."

Lambert admits he feels the "hurt" being endured by Villa's current slump but has no regrets about moving to the midlands club from Norwich last summer.

He said: "People ask 'why did I leave there?' I had to leave there. It had finished. The opportunity to come to Aston Villa was unbelievable and still is.

"It's a fantastic club. You can sense how big it is. It's huge, absolutely huge.

"I don't enjoy this run we are on. You hurt. But you have to pick yourself up and go again.

"You have to meet it head on. I have said that for the last few weeks."

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