Paul Lambert wants Aston Villa to 'play to their strengths'


Paul Lambert begins work in earnest with Aston Villa's players today with the aim of making them "play to their strengths" after last season's disappointments.

New boss Lambert will address the squad in full for the first time, after they have reported back for pre-season training, since replacing Alex McLeish as manager last month.

Villa only finished two points above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and Lambert is determined to get the best out of the players.

He said: "It's the first day for everyone and it's new and fresh. When a new manager comes in, there is always a bit of trepidation amongst the players about what is going to happen.

"But we are not going to complicate things and hopefully they will respond and, if they do that, then we'll be fine.

"I'm not going to ask them to do anything which is alien to them. I'm going to get them to play to their strengths."

Lambert added: "I'll speak to them as a group and then I might speak to one or two individuals to get a bit of background about what it's been like.

"I think mentality is important in terms of how you handle things and how you deal with players, and hopefully the players will get the same ideas as myself."

Lambert will look to strengthen his squad and Sheffield United right-back Matthew Lowton is believed to be on his radar.

The current first choice right-back, Alan Hutton, struggled to make an impression after his move from Tottenham although, contrary to speculation, he has not been transfer-listed.