Villa's Delph looking to change his style

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph admits he will have to modify his game after becoming the first Premier League player to receive 10 yellow cards this season.

A clean tackle?

However, Delph insisted he is not a "malicious player" after his booking last night against Manchester City means he will miss the Barclays Premier League relegation double-header against Reading and QPR.

The caution against City was handed out by referee Mike Dean for handball but the majority of Delph's yellow cards have been for what have been perceived as mistimed challenges.

Delph believes he has only deserved to be booked on three occasions but accepts he will have to alter his approach.

He said: "It's a huge blow to miss the two games coming up. I am disappointed. I didn't think it was a yellow card to be honest with you. I am not a cheat and I didn't mean to handle the ball.

"If I'm being totally honest it was my 10th booking and I think I have deserved three. I'm just being brutally honest there. Ten yellow cards looks bad but I am not a malicious player.

"I've had a lot of injuries myself so I would never go to try and injure a player. I think I have won the ball in all of the yellow cards I've received this season.

"It's a strange one. Like I said I think I deserved three. But I have got to look at myself and obviously I have let myself down. I can mistime some of them. I am only human.

"The gaffer (Paul Lambert) hasn't told me to curb that competitive streak. He loves that side in all of his players.

"But the game has changed and obviously I've got to change."

Delph, a £6million signing from Leeds four years ago, agrees that tackling has become a dying art.

He said: "It's a got a bit boring hasn't it!? No-one is allowed to kick anyone these days. I was probably worse when I was at Leeds.

"It's something I'll look at, and something I have looked at before.

"I don't think I make as many 'guess' challenges as I have done in the past. I pick and choose when I go to ground now.

"I want to stay competitive but I will try to curb it and hopefully not get booked or cut them down.

"Football is a lot more technical and a bit more sensible. Refs have got a bit soft and it's something I'll look to curb."

Delph accepts he could become a marked man in the eyes of referees.

He said: "Possibly. It's something I have thought about. I'm not daft. I do have a think about stuff that I need to work on, not just tackling, but every area of my game.

"There's lots of areas I need to improve. It's not something I am going to write in capital letters and focus on that because, if I do that, then other areas of my game will suffer.

"Like I said, there are other areas I am more concerned about. I will always compete and will try to minimise the yellow cards a bit."

Delph believes Villa should approach the Reading and QPR games with confidence on the basis of their recent performances.

He said: "I think we have played well over the past few games and that will hopefully stand us in good stead for the next two games which are both six-pointers.

"I think it is very important we come out firing in like we have in the last two games with Arsenal and Manchester City.

"I think we have enough to get the six points."



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