Paul Lambert calls for strong heads at Aston Villa following draw with West Brom

West Bromwich Albion 2 Aston Villa 2

Unpleasant as conditions may be for training today, Aston Villa and Bradford City will both be keen to work on different aspects of the same phase of play ahead of tomorrow night's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg. In the first match at Valley Parade all three City goals in a stunning 3-1 victory were headers and, after conceding a late equaliser from a corner in Saturday's riveting 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion, Paul Lambert knows that his side have to tighten up.

They were denied a first Premier League victory in six games when the otherwise impressive Christian Benteke left Gareth McAuley free to nod down a corner for Peter Odemwingie to volley in, leaving their manager exasperated.

"It's a bog-standard ball in the box." he said. "It's not rocket science. We go man for man, and if it's your man that scores then we know who was to pick him up. It's you against your opponent, and you've got to go and put your head on it."

The rave reviews for Villa's youngsters after they won in quick succession at Norwich City and Liverpool before Christmas proved premature and they have struggled ever since, dropping to the fringes of the relegation zone. Disappointment at dropping two points to their oldest rivals aside, there was encouragement to be taken from their first-half performance. It brought excellent strikes and a two-goal lead from Benteke and then Gabriel Agbonlahor, plus an all-too-rare demonstration of Charles N'Zogbia's talents.

"The players will be down but they know they really played well," Lambert said. "It's a matter of trying to replicate that first-half performance and I'm pretty sure they will. The crowd will be unbelievable on Tuesday and will drive us on, that's for sure. You have to get there [to Wembley] and it'll be a great achievement if we can manage to do it, a fantastic occasion for everybody at the club."

Albion's manager, Steve Clarke, who gave his players a verbal blast at half-time, confirmed that neither Odemwingie, Jonas Olsson nor any other player will be leaving The Hawthorns during the January transfer window.

Goals: West Brom Brunt 49, Odemwingie 84. Aston Villa Benteke 12, Agbonlahor 31. Substitutions: West Brom Thomas 7 (Yacob, 36), Rosenberg (Dorrans, 82), Thorne (Brunt, 90+4). Aston Villa Lichaj 6 (Baker, 5), Bannan 5 (Delph, 53), Holman 5 (N'Zogbia, 67). Bookings: West Brom Olsson, Lukaku, Dorrans. Aston Villa Agbonlahor, Lichaj, Lowton. Man of the match Agbonlahor. Match rating 8/10. Possession: West Brom 57%. Aston Villa 43%. Attempts on target: West Brom 6. Aston Villa 6. Referee L Probert (Wiltshire). Attendance 25,583.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering