Lambert looking to haul in Saints

  • Last Updated: January 30 2014, 15:20 GMT

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert claims he never looks at league tables - but now has ninth-placed Southampton in his sights.

Paul Lambert: Looking to climb the table
Paul Lambert: Looking to climb the table

Villa moved back into 10th in the Barclays Premier League as they came from 2-0 down to win a remarkable West Midlands derby against West Brom 4-3 at Villa Park.

It lifted them eight points clear of the relegation zone in the tightly-packed bottom half, but Lambert is certainly not looking downwards.

His side are now just five points behind Saints, who again underlined their ability by holding Arsenal to a draw this week, but Lambert believes are catchable.

The Scot said: "If you look at the table there are only five points between us and Southampton, who are sitting ninth.

"You just keep going. They are the next team above us.

"Five points is better than what it was. You just keep going to try to get the next target."

But when asked about targets in the table, Lambert said: "I don't look at it, but I know where Southampton are!

"I will look at it on the last day in May."

Villa's victory was just their third of the season at home in the league.

In their previous 11 games at Villa Park they had claimed just eight points and scored eight goals.

Another win seemed unlikely as they fell 2-0 down inside nine minutes to a stunning Chris Brunt strike and a Fabian Delph own goal.

They recovered quickly as Andreas Weimann, Leandro Bacuna and Delph - at the right end - struck in rapid succession but the score was 3-3 by half-time as Youssouf Mulumbu equalised.

Christian Benteke scored the winner from the penalty spot - his third goal in three games - in the 64th minute.

West Brom disputed the penalty and thought they should have had one of their own, while they also dominated play thereafter, but there was no way back.

Lambert hopes the home win provides a psychological lift and they can now find greater consistency.

He said: "I think since the turn of the year our league form has been pretty decent.

"The away form is there for everyone to see. If our away form was at home nobody would really question us.

"Scoring four goals at home will certainly please people.

"We are definitely a threat. We have got goalscorers in the side, lads who definitely know where the goal is."

The turnaround left new West Brom head coach Pepe Mel still awaiting his first victory since taking charge.

He is also likely to be without Nicolas Anelka for the clash with Liverpool this weekend after the Frenchman was forced off midway through the first half with a badly cut knee.

The Baggies are unsure how long Anelka might be out and Mel, well aware the veteran forward is also facing a ban over the 'quenelle' affair, hinted he may look for a new signing this week.

West Brom have won just once in 13 league games and lost three of their last four.

Their position is growing increasingly precarious. They are three points above the bottom three and have more tough games against rejuvenated Crystal Palace and Chelsea in the next fortnight.

Captain Brunt told the club's website, www.wba.co.uk: "You can't score three goals in a Premier League game and lose, it's as simple as that.

"It's not good enough. We didn't defend well all night and we got punished for that.

"We're in disbelief. Now we have to regroup.

"We need to take a good look at ourselves over the next couple of days because we've got a few tough games coming up.

"It's disappointing because it's a game that, especially when we were two up, we should have won.

"We need to dust ourselves down because we've got a big game on Sunday against Liverpool."


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