Aston Villa v Arsenal: Paul Lambert sends out rallying call to fans to 'stick with it' and lift the side when they take on the Gunners

Premier League leaders Arsenal visit Villa Park on Monday night and Lambert wants his side to bounce back from their shock FA Cup exit to Sheffield United last time out

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hopes the club's fans can “stick with it” and get behind the team in tonight's Barclays Premier League home clash with Arsenal as the midlands outfit look to bounce back from their shock FA Cup loss to Sheffield United.

The 2-1 reverse in the third-round cup tie - against Sky Bet League One opposition - was Villa's fifth defeat in their last seven games in all competitions.

And it was yet another disappointing day at Villa Park in a campaign in which their home record so far shows just two victories and six losses from 10 top-flight fixtures.

There were boos from Villa fans at the final whistle and Lambert has expressed his understanding for their frustration.

But the Scot - under whom Villa finished 15th in the Premier League last season, his first in charge of the club - has also emphasised how important he feels it is that the supporters do all they can to help the players.

"I don't have any problem with the crowd," Lambert said.

"If the team is not performing, then you expect people to vent their frustration - that is normal.

"But we are a young side.

"Last year, we played Newcastle at home and we were getting beaten 2-0 in the first half.

"Then we scored, and for about 40 minutes, it didn't matter what we did, that crowd was right with us. They were brilliant that time.

"Because you are in your second year, it might be a different view, but if they can stick with it and see us through the hard times when we need them... because we certainly need them.

"They have been excellent for us overall, and we expect if we are not performing that certain things will happen.

"But we're hoping (in the Arsenal game) that they will get right behind us."

Lambert said after a 1-1 home draw with Swansea in December that although he has a good relationship with his chairman Randy Lerner, he does not feel immune from the sack and always works with "that fear" of losing his job.

Returning to the theme this week, Lambert said: "I never stop worrying. I'm not immune from it.

"The relationship between me and Randy is what it is. You are never immune from anything, and I would never view it that way.

"You just keep going - there is no secret formula to it. You just keep going and don't lose focus on what you are trying to do. I will never waver from that."

Villa, 11th in the table, have been assessing the condition of defenders Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker ahead of the meeting with third-placed Arsenal.

Both club captain Vlaar and Baker sat out the Sheffield United game with calf and hamstring problems respectively.

Forward Gabriel Agbonlahor, who also missed the cup tie, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan are fit despite having had niggles, but the contest is too soon for midfielder Chris Herd and defender Joe Bennett to make their comebacks after injury.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on