Paul Lambert hopes relegation battle is a one-off for Aston Villa

Villains boss does not want a repeat of the current campaign

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert regards this season as a steep personal learning curve and the sort of thing he does not want to go through again - although he does feel the experience may well have made him stronger.

Following his defection from Norwich last summer, Lambert has overseen a Villa team of limited previous Barclays Premier League experience featuring lots of players in their early 20s, and the midlands outfit have struggled towards the bottom end of the table for most of the campaign.

With two games to go, though, they appear destined for safety, lying 13th on 40 points, five clear of 18th-placed Wigan.

And reflecting on the season, Lambert said ahead of his side's Saturday lunchtime home clash with third-placed Chelsea: "I've learned a lot this season but I don't want to go through it again.

"Let's cross the line first and foremost. But sometimes you have to go through these things to make yourself stronger."

Villa followed up their 6-1 thrashing of Sunderland by triumphing 2-1 at Norwich last Saturday and they have won five of their last eight matches.

Lambert said: "We're in terrific form and in a good position - on Saturday we were three points off ninth!

"All credit to the team for the results they have produced in the last few months. The results have been outstanding.

"Everyone wrote them off and had a go at them. But the football we're playing is really good."

All the rest of the weekend's Premier League action takes place on Sunday, when various teams in the bottom half will be eager to try to extend the gap between themselves and Wigan, who play Manchester City in Saturday's FA Cup final.

Among them are Newcastle, currently 17th on 38 points and without a win in their last four games.

They are at relegated QPR at 3pm, and club captain Fabricio Coloccini told the Magpies' official website: "If we do the right things, do our job, it's going to be finished.

"We have to do our job and then try to think about next season because Newcastle have to be in the Premier League."

Level on points with Newcastle and playing at the same time are 16th-placed Norwich, who face West Brom at Carrow Road, and 15th-placed Sunderland, hosts to a Southampton team who are only one point and one position better off than them.

Twelfth-placed Fulham, on 40 points, welcome Liverpool to Craven Cottage, while the other 3pm kick-off sees Manchester United-bound David Moyes in charge of his last Everton home match as the Toffees take on West Ham.

Current United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's final Old Trafford game before he retires this summer gets under way at 4pm, with Swansea the visitors, and the day's other fixture, in which fifth-placed Tottenham will be looking for a win at Stoke to take them above out-of-action Arsenal into the Champions League spots, has a 1.30pm start.


Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk