Capital One Cup success could turn season says Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert
Premier League side trail Bradford 3-1 after the first leg
Monday 21 January 2013
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits overcoming Bradford in tomorrow's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg could help turn their whole season around.
Villa have to recover from losing the first leg 3-1 to the npower League Two side at the Coral Windows Stadium a fortnight ago. But Lambert believes reaching Wembley can also have a positive impact on Villa's other main battle, which is Barclays Premier League survival.
Lambert said: "I don't sense any apprehension at all. I just feel we are ready for it and we know what we have to go and do.
"I am pretty sure everyone will make us favourites to turn it around. I think everyone will do that.
"In a cup game anything can happen but, with a big pitch and a crowd behind us, hopefully we will be able to score more than we did up in Bradford.
"We had a lot of chances up at Bradford. If we can create that amount of chances, then we'll be close.
"If we get through, the confidence will be great. The feeling around the club will be massive.
"It will be a great thing. It can definitely play a huge part in the season turning (around)."
But Lambert is aware Villa have to avoid conceding the sloppy goals from set-pieces which have proved to be their downfall - including at Bradford - in recent games.
Striker Christian Benteke has been at fault in a defensive role on more than one occasion and his slip allowed Gareth McAuley to set up Peter Odemwingie's equaliser in the 2-2 weekend draw at West Brom.
Lambert said: "I can't nitpick because the big guy (Benteke) has been unbelievable for us.
"What I bought him for is to put the ball in the net and you only need to look at his ratio there.
"With the goal conceded against West Brom, he has actually slipped and sometimes that can happen. I can't be too critical of him for what he's done.
"But you have to make sure players don't get headers in at set-pieces."
Lambert expects Villa to reap the benefits of a white-hot atmosphere generated by a capacity 43,000 crowd tomorrow evening at Villa Park.
He said: "It's well within our capabilities to turn it around. They are playing well enough to do it.
"I also know for a fact the stadium will be absolutely bouncing tomorrow. It'll be a different ball game to a fortnight ago.
"The players will feed off the atmosphere. It happened in the game against Manchester United here this season.
"You look at that game and I couldn't hear myself shout with the noise levels that the stadium generated. We'll be ready for this.
"Ninety minutes is a long time in a game of football, but we know we have to come out of the traps really quickly. The crowd will generate that as well."
Lambert added: "Bradford's form is probably not as good as they would like it to be. It can happen.
"You have a big night against someone midweek and you go and lose your next league game because it's hard to sustain that level.
"But it's about us tomorrow and what we do. It's our home game and we know what we have to go and do."
Villa striker Andreas Weimann is available after illness. Weimann scored Villa's only goal in the first leg.
Defender Nathan Baker (hamstring) has been ruled out and midfielder Ashley Westwood is cup-tied, while Lambert will make late fitness checks on goalkeeper Shay Given (hamstring) and midfielder Fabian Delph (ankle).
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