Lambert proud of young Villans
Paul Lambert claims Aston Villa's current crop of youngsters have "earned the right" to play in the Premier League after some fine displays.
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Lambert's faith in youth is starting to pay dividends with Villa through to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and unbeaten in five league games which have yielded nine points.
The average age of the side was less than 24 in last weekend's 3-1 eye-catching win at Liverpool and now Villa are looking to cause another upset on tomorrow's trip to Chelsea.
Lambert said: "You just try to give the lads the belief that they are good enough to go and play - and they seem to have grasped that.
"If you are in this league and you are playing, you've earned the right to play. That is the bottom line and they are certainly playing really well at the moment.
"To be fair, they have played well since the win at Sunderland a few weeks back now.
"They've got a great enthusiasm for the game. Win, lose or draw, one thing I know I'm going to get is absolute endeavour from everyone. I've got nothing but praise for them."
Lambert took many positives from the triumph at Anfield which saw another impressive display from two-goal Christian Benteke.
He said: "Someone said after the Liverpool game that it was the youngest ever Premier League team, and to go there and do what they did was remarkable.
"There are not many teams that will go up there and score three goals and come away winning.
"What they did up there was a phenomenal thing, the way they played and the way they went about it was incredible. It was a magnificent achievement.
"They showed great mental strength but they earned the right to compete, to play, and they earned the right to win."
Lambert knows his side will have to emulate the standards shown against the Reds if they are to have a chance of repeating last season's victory at Stamford Bridge.
He said: "We will go down there with a lot of belief and Chelsea will know that as well.
"They are going to have the earn the right again, and play the way we did against Liverpool, but we are going there with a lot of confidence.
"The thing about young players is that they want to do well and try and achieve something.
"They want to keep doing it and, if they keep on doing that and keep progressing, then they are going to have a great career.
"You know you are in for a hard game, you know the players they've got, the way they are playing, and they came back from the World Club Championship and got a great result against Leeds.
"You know what is coming but it's something we have to relish and take on board."