Lambert 'to be given time' at Villa
Paul Lambert will attempt to pick up the pieces of Aston Villa's shock Capital One Cup exit against Bradford safe in the knowledge that his job is not under threat, Press Association Sport understands.
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Villa owner Randy Lerner's faith in his manager is not believed to have wavered, despite witnessing the club crash out of the cup at the semi-final stage on Tuesday night following a 4-3 aggregate defeat to the fourth-tier Bantams.
Villa are also struggling at the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League, but it is understood Lambert would even be afforded the chance of trying to regain Villa's top-flight status should they suffer relegation at the end of the campaign.
Lerner recognises Lambert would be the ideal candidate to achieve that after he secured successive promotions with Norwich prior to joining Villa last summer.
Furthermore, the relationship between the pair remains strong - they talk on a regular basis - and Lerner is believed to be keen not to overreact to the situation.
Villa face another tricky tie at Millwall in the FA Cup on Friday before next Tuesday's crucial home Premier League encounter with fellow strugglers Newcastle.
Lerner was prepared for a rollercoaster season in what is seen as the first year of a big rebuilding job at Villa Park following the disappointing tenures of Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish.
The former Cleveland Browns owner is happy for Lambert to put faith in young players, with the feeling in the boardroom that many of the club's more experienced names have not performed to their abilities this season.
The prospect of the club adding new blood to the squad this month remains remote, however.
Lambert knows he has only limited resources available and has previously said he will not sign players for the sake of it, while Lerner, who has ploughed in excess of £250million into the club down the years, is not due back in the UK before the end of the transfer window.
Skipper Ron Vlaar has recently returned from injury to add some steel to Villa's backline, and he insists his side cannot afford to suffer "a hangover" from their semi-final exit.
"The disappointment in my body, I've never felt this before," Vlaar said.
"It was a great opportunity. If you don't win over two legs against Bradford...
"Credit to them, they did very well, but we should have won.
"We have to pick ourselves up. It is going to be hard but we have to. We have no option.
"Friday is the next game. We are not in the position to have a hangover from the Bradford game.
"We have to go on. When we think about last night, it will still give a bad feeling.
"But we have to look forward - however hard it is."