Saturday 16 December 2017

Lambert brushes off Spurs rampage

ASTON VILLA boss Paul Lambert insists his young team will be fine as they try to move on and find a positive response after suffering two successive hammerings over the festive period.

Lambert's side went into their St Stephen's Day home clash with Tottenham looking to bounce back from their demoralising 8-0 defeat at Chelsea three days earlier, only for Jermain Defoe's 14th club goal of the season and Gareth Bale's first Premier League hat-trick to see Spurs run out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Things are looking worrying for Villa, who lie 16th in the table -- three points above the relegation zone.

Their manager is adamant the mood in the camp will not be an issue, though, ahead of Saturday's crunch encounter with 18th-placed Wigan at Villa Park.

"They will be fine," Lambert (inset) said.


"Whether we win, lose or draw, we always try to treat them the same way and try to keep their spirits the same.

"One thing in football is that you can't dwell on it and you have to bounce back -- there is no other way."

Bale was the undoubted star of the show as Tottenham ran Villa ragged, the winger twice going close to netting in a goalless first half before following up Defoe's 57th-minute opener by converting in the 61st, 73rd and 84th minutes to give the scoreline a look that more accurately reflected the visitors' dominance.

It took the 23-year-old to 10 club goals for the current campaign, and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas hailed Bale as one of the world's best players.

The Portuguese said: "He is up there with the best. He is showing tremendous talent. I think he is improving every day."

The result ensured Tottenham kept up their push for Champions League football, moving them up to fourth -- level on points with fifth-placed Everton and sixth-spotted West Brom, who both also won yesterday.

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