Dion Dublin labels Aston Villa season 'absolutely woeful' and says players must take responsibility

Paul Lambert's side are in real danger of being relegated

Dion Dublin insists Aston Villa's players have to shoulder the full responsibility for an “absolutely woeful” season ahead of tomorrow's relegation clash at Reading.

Former Villa striker Dublin believes Villa boss Paul Lambert should have paired strikers Christian Benteke and the currently injured Darren Bent on a more regular basis.

He also feels there is no guarantee the midlands club would make an instant return to the Barclays Premier League next season if they go down for the first time in more than 25 years.

Dublin, talking to Absolute Radio's Russ Williams, said; "I will always say it's the players who have to take the blame.

"The manager has a responsibility and the owner has a responsibility to spend the money wisely but I think the players ultimately have the full responsibility.

"Even when I was there at Villa with Ginola and Schmeichel and Southgate, we achieved nothing as well and for years and years the Villa fans have had nothing to cheer about.

"They've got even less to cheer about now because the team have been absolutely woeful this season and it's sad to see such a big club in such a poor position."

Lambert has often opted to play with a single central striker in the in-form Benteke with Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor operating wide in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The Scot has always insisted his relationship with club record signing Bent has been fine, with no fall-out between the pair and his selection policies based purely on footballing reasons.

But Dublin claimed: "I thought Villa might have played Benteke and Bent both up front but there is something gone on. We don't know what it is.

"Darren is probably injured at the moment but there was speculation that his attitude is bad and he's been injured for so long.

"Bent is a goal scorer, you can play him in the fourth division or Champions League and he will still score goals.

"Having both of them up front would have given Villa more of a chance of having a better position in the league and scoring more goals."

Dublin has urged the Villa players to show a positive mindset during the finale to the campaign.

He said: "Believe that you are good enough, because at the moment I don't believe when they go out that they think they are good enough.

"I think they are beaten before they go out, I think their mind-set and their beliefs are not there before they go out.

"They've got to go out and say 'hold it, we've got nothing to lose, we're in the bottom three, we are down at the moment unless we turn it around'.

"I think ultimately the word is they have got to be brave."

When asked if Villa could make a quickfire return to the Premier League if relegated, Dublin said: "Having played in that division for several clubs, I'd have to say no.

"I played in the Championship for Leicester and Norwich and it's hard. Look at the size of Wolves who are down there, Birmingham who are down there, Leeds who are down there.

"They are all Premier League size football clubs and they've been down for some seasons now so don't expect to bounce back because it's one of the hardest divisions in the world to actually play in.

"You've got to change your mind-set, change the way you play your game. The championship is difficult."

PA

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker