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Lambert admits he is not immune from fear of getting sack

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Paul Lambert. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Paul Lambert. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Paul Lambert. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

ASTON Villa boss Paul Lambert has once again emphasised he does not feel immune from the the sack, insisting he "never stops worrying" about it.

Ahead of tonight's Premier League home clash with Arsenal, Villa are on a poor run of form, having won only one and lost five of their last seven games in all competitions.

The midlands outfit's record at their own ground for the entire campaign to date has been disappointing, with it showing just two victories and six defeats from 10 top-flight fixtures.

And last weekend they suffered a 2-1 FA Cup third-round reverse at Villa Park against Sheffield United – a club that have been struggling this term towards the lower end of League One.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

Lambert – under whom Villa finished 15th in the Premier League last season, his first in charge of the club – said after a 1-1 home draw with Swansea in December that although he has a good relationship with his chairman Randy Lerner, he always works with "that fear" of losing his job.

Returning to the theme this week, Lambert said: "I never stop worrying. I'm not immune from it.

"The relationship between me and Randy is what it is. You are never immune from anything, and I would never view it that way.

"You just keep going – there is no secret formula to it. You just keep going and don't lose focus on what you are trying to do. I will never waver from that."

Lambert has also been keen to stress how bad a week he has had off the back of the Sheffield United result.

Before the game, he had caused a stir by saying that most fellow top-flight managers would probably prefer to do without the FA Cup.

After the match – for which he fielded a first XI showing only four changes – he claimed that comment had been taken out of context.

And asked ahead of the Arsenal contest how he had been feeling in the days since the cup tie, Lambert said: "The same way I do after every other game (Villa have lost).

"I don't sleep great, I don't eat great. The usual stuff.

"It is just the life of a football manager. It is a great job, but you don't feel great (after defeats).

"And contrary to other people's reports, I never degraded the competition at all.

"I tried to win the game, I put the best team out I possibly could and we got knocked out. Good luck to Sheffield United. We weren't good enough."

There were boos from Villa fans at the final whistle in the Sheffield United game and while Lambert has expressed his understanding for the supporters' frustration, he has also called for them to "stick with it".

"I don't have any problem with the crowd," Lambert said.

 

FRUSTRATION

"If the team is not performing, then you expect people to vent their frustration – that is normal.

"Last year, we played Newcastle at home and we were getting beaten 2-0 in the first half.

"Then we scored, and for about 40 minutes, it didn't matter what we did, that crowd was right with us.

"Because you are in your second year, it might be a different view, but if they can stick with it and see us through the hard times when we need them.

"But we're hoping that they will get right behind us."

Villa will assess the condition of defenders Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker ahead of the Arsenal match.

Both club captain Vlaar and Baker sat out the Sheffield United game with calf and hamstring problems.

Forward Gabriel Agbonlahor and goalkeeper Brad Guzan are fit, but the contest is too soon for midfielder Chris Herd and defender Joe Bennett to make their comebacks.


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