Lambert cool under scrutiny

Villa pipped Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night – Christian Benteke’s goal the difference – to end a nine-match winless streak.

But Lambert, who has come under fire from supporters in recent weeks, cut a stoic rather than relieved figure after the victory and insisted he had found positives in previous defeats.

“I’ll handle this the same as I always do, I don’t change,” he said. “You try to keep your level, try not to have any stress, which is a hard thing??to do.

“So I’ll just keep focused and try to do my best for this football club, and??that’s why I’m here.??I know you’ll say nine games without winning, but in the last four games??we’ve not been beaten.

“So it’s whatever way you want to perceive it, and I tend to look at the??positive.??I’m delighted for the lads, because they’ve come through a period where??people were giving them criticism, and as I’ve said before this is Aston Villa Football Club; it’s big news.

“I’m delighted for them: they’ve earned their plaudits.”

‘Conundrum’

Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark forged a resilient central defensive pairing in the absence of Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Nathan Baker, attracting praise from the Scot.

“Our defensive effort was terrific at Selhurst Park,” added Lambert. “Okore and Clark worked very well together; Alan Hutton was outstanding too,??and with Brad Guzan and Aly Cissokho formed a strong unit there.

“For Okore it’s his third game in quick succession, and he’s been out for more??than a year. And I think Ciaran Clark certainly: the two of them have certainly stepped up their game.

“That’s the aim of football, to have selection conundrums, and those two are??going to give me that when others return. You have??to push a mate to get into a side, and at the minute these two??lads are holding their own.”

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