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'Lambert has full support of Villa players' - Vlaar

SKIPPER Ron Vlaar insists Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert retains the full support of the players as they look to recover from League Cup heartbreak.

Villa suffered a shock 4-3 aggregate semi-final setback against League Two side Bradford despite winning the second leg 2-1 at Villa Park.

It was the latest blow in a season where the club have become embroiled in a Premier League relegation battle.

Bradford fans chanted "you're getting sacked in the morning" to Lambert during the second half.

But Vlaar and his team-mates retain faith in Lambert whose position is not under threat.

The Dutch international said: "The players are still all behind the manager. That is not an issue. Why should it be?

"I didn't hear the Bradford fans sing that (about being sacked). I cannot believe that will happen. I believe he is the right man for the job."

Villa now face another tricky clash at Millwall in the FA Cup tomorrow.

But Vlaar is aware the main priority is top-flight survival ahead of next Tuesday's home meeting with fellow strugglers Newcastle.

He said: "We have to pick ourselves up. We have no option. We have no choice. We are fighting really hard in the league.

"Staying up is the most important thing for us. We have to look forward, keep our head, get together. But we want to do well in the FA Cup as well if we can."

Vlaar knows Villa have to improve at set pieces and admits he was at fault for Bradford striker James Hanson's decisive goal from a corner in the second leg.

He said: "It was a bad moment for everybody. It killed the game actually.

Vlaar believes it is vital Villa retain the support of their fans who have backed Lambert after the vitriol aimed at predecessor Alex McLeish.

He said: "The supporters were brilliant against Bradford. I can't remember this before in my time with Villa. It gave such a good feeling.

"I hope they stay behind us like they did every game this season."