Paul Lambert welcomes break for Aston Villa
The Villains are not in FA Cup action this weekend
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hopes the current fortnight's break from any action will clear up the recent illness and injury setbacks suffered by the midlands club.
Villa moved out of the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League via Sunday's 2-1 home win over West Ham but do not play again until they visit Arsenal on February 23.
In-form winger Charles N'Zogbia suffered a knee injury against the Hammers while a sickness bug at the club deprived Villa of striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi.
"We have got this breather now after what has been a hectic period," Lambert said.
"There have also been lads away with their various national teams. It will give them a break.
"It will also let people like Gabby and Charles recover from illness and injury.
"Charles has hurt his knee. He has this fortnight's break so hopefully he will be okay while Ron Vlaar also took a knock.
"There has also been a sickness bug at the club. Ashley Westwood had it during last week and Gabby and Karim had it the night before the West Ham game and on the day of the match.
"It was a blow but hopefully everyone will be okay and fit for the Arsenal game."
Lambert praised the character shown by his players even when results have been going against them.
He said: "They have taken a lot of knocks and a lot of criticisms but we've never let their heads go down. That's important.
"We've played well in some recent games, the first half at West Brom, the second half against Newcastle, and at Everton we were excellent.
"From mid-table to the bottom, there is little in it and another eight or nine teams are doing the same as what we are doing."
Latest in Sport
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.