Lambert aims to enjoy Old Trafford

  • Last Updated: April 21 2013, 13:07 BST

Paul Lambert wants his under-pressure Aston Villa side to enjoy themselves when they go to Old Trafford to take on champions-elect Manchester United on Monday.

Paul Lambert: His under-pressure face Man Utd on Monday
Paul Lambert: His under-pressure face Man Utd on Monday

Villa remain entrenched in the Barclays Premier League relegation battle as the scrap for survival intensifies.

However they have timed a run of form nicely, picking up 10 points from their last five games and Lambert sees no reason why they cannot give United a difficult night and take something from the game.

"I've got no worries about going there," said the manager. "It's going to be a fantastic place to play football, against the champions elect.

"If you don't enjoy going playing there, there's something wrong. If you can't handle the pressure, you're not going to be a footballer. It's what you're having a career for.

"It's a game no-one expects us to get anything from but we're certainly a goal threat.

"They have been the most consistent team in the league but from our own point of view we need the points every bit as much as they do."

Lambert's side were unfortunate to lose 3-2 to United in the reverse fixture at Villa Park earlier this season, having led 2-0 only for substitute Javier Hernandez to score twice after Ron Vlaar's own goal.

The Scot believes Villa can take heart from that performance. "They're used to playing that kind of football every time," he said. "They can bring on the likes of Javier Hernandez.

"We gave them a right good go that night, but they're used to doing that to teams. We were disappointed to lose but it was no disgrace."

Lambert is happy to pay tribute to evergreen United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as he continues to rack up milestones and trophies. "You'd love to know how he's done it," he said.

"Starting out at East Stirlingshire, St Mirren, Aberdeen where he did a fantastic job and then Manchester United. He had a hard time at United to start with but the rest is history.

"What he's done is nothing short of remarkable. I know him pretty well. I used to go and watch Manchester United training when I was out of work.

"I don't think there's a better manager. I don't think that'll we'll see another manager stay at one club for 27 years. Who's going to do that?

"He's surpassed anything anyone could do. He's won virtually everything, European Cups, league titles. He's a top, top manager."

Lambert laughed off suggestions that United striker Wayne Rooney has struggled to perform this season. "I don't know," he said. "I think Sir Alex would know better than anyone else.

"Looking out of sorts? Oh yes, so he does! The guy's a top player, been top player for long time, he may not be hitting the heights of his own high standards but he's still a fantastic player."

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