PL: Clark can learn from Hansen

  • Last Updated: February 9 2013, 14:04 GMT

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has urged defender Ciaran Clark to heed the advice of former Liverpool star Alan Hansen to help improve his game.

Ciaran Clark: Still learning

Lambert is predicting Republic of Ireland international Clark will have a "big career" after becoming a regular member of the Villa back four this season.

But Hansen dissected his performance in the 3-3 draw at Everton last weekend in his role as a Match Of The Day pundit and Lambert believes Clark could reap the benefits of his words of wisdom.

Lambert, whose side entertain West Ham on Sunday, said: "Alan Hansen was a world class player who played in a world class team (Liverpool).

"I think when you're a young player then you could do a lot worse than look at that (Hansen's assessment), that's for sure.

"When you have somebody of that ilk and that stature in the game it's always good to learn. But also it's important you look at your positives as well. I think Ciaran would be pretty fine with that.

"If people have constructive things to say, and mention your good points as well, then you take them on board."

Lambert has no doubts that Clark will blossom into an outstanding performer with the benefit of experience.

He scored his first international goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 2-0 win over Poland in mid-week.

Lambert said: "Ciaran will make mistakes being a young lad but over the course of the season he's been excellent.

"He's a young guy learning the game and has broken into the international team as well which is terrific for him. He will have a big career.

"I'm also pretty sure his confidence will be sky high after scoring for his country.

"He played well and he played well in the last game for Ireland I watched as well. Scoring will definitely help him."

Villa have become the Premier League's 'nearly men' with their habit of surrendering the lead, which is proving to be something of an unwanted tag for Lambert.

The Scot said: "We lost two-goal leads against Manchester United, West Brom and Everton and gave away last minute goals at Swansea and Goodison Park.

"It's tough when that happens because those points could have made a major difference.

"It's happened and you just have to keep going. There's no point in looking back and thinking 'we should have got points here and there' but we have to see out games.

"From now on in it's 13 cup finals and that's the way we have to view it. We have to be ready for it and win more times than not."

Lambert added: "My belief has never wavered, my belief, whether people have said things or not (that Villa can stay up).

"I've got to have that belief with the way I think about the team."

Fabian Delph is available after missing the previous two games against Newcastle and Everton with an ankle problem.

Fellow midfielder Karim El Ahmadi has shaken off a knee injury suffered at Goodison Park.


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