Westwood 'not a dirty player'
Paul Lambert has defended Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood, insisting he is "not a dirty player".
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However, replays showed the former Crewe player may have been fortunate to escape a red card as he was showing his studs when connecting with the Reds midfielder.
Villa boss Lambert, whose side visit Stoke on Saturday, said: "He's got the ball. I know what people are saying because of the way he's gone in but he has actually got the ball.
15. Ashley Westwood
"If he had got the lad, then it's a different matter. You are not sitting telling me that Westwood is a dirty player.
"He's nowhere near that. He doesn't need to be dirty because he doesn't give the ball away."
Lambert also brushed off further speculation regarding the future of 18-goal Christian Benteke, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham, and stressed he wants Benteke to stay at Villa following his £8million move from Genk last summer.
He said: "We get linked with everyone but I don't pay too much attention to speculation.
"We gave Christian the opportunity to go and perform and he has been excellent with the way he has performed and led the line. He has been excellent for us.
"What is he worth now? You'd have to have quite a lot of money to try and get him. In the modern day market, it can be whatever it wants."
Lambert has seen Southampton, QPR and Sunderland sack their respective managers in recent weeks but is unsure whether it provides Villa with any advantage in the battle for survival.
He said: "I think with football management now, nobody is sure what happens whether you get good results or bad results.
"You are just never quite sure what is going to happen. All of those managers have done great and yet they still end up losing their jobs.
"Will it help Villa? It is not something I sit and analyse. I just find it strange what happens to managers, especially when they get results.
"You just have to keep going and look after your own house as such."