Paul Lambert has acknowledged the pressure ahead of Aston Villa’s clash with Hull at Villa Park on Saturday by comparing the game to a cup final, and hopes to secure Villa’s Premier League survival by beating Steve Bruce’s men, reports Sky
Villa have endured a run of six games without a win and can mathematically still be relegated, though their game in hand over Norwich – who occupy the highest of the relegation spots – means they appear relatively safe, but Villans boss Lambert wants his players to get over the finishing line and put next season’s Premier League participation beyond any doubt.
The former Norwich manager said: “If we win then it virtually gets us out of the relegation battle.
“That’s how big the game is. Everybody knows it. I said the other day that this is like a cup final and we’re at home, with the backing of 38,000 people.
“That will have to drive us on as well and if the lads perform against a good side who have had a really good season then we’ll do it. The ironic thing is that if we win, we can go above Hull.”
Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor said recently that the game was arguably the biggest of the players’ lives, and Lambert acknowledged this sentiment, though pointed to his squad’s youth for that standpoint.
Lambert continued: “It’s pressure and you deal with it. Gabby is saying that because they’re still young. When they’re 29, 30 years of age, hopefully if their careers keep going they’ll have massive games to play in.
“I understand what Gabby is saying about it being a cup final, and that is how we have to treat it. You have to give it everything you’ve got and if you win then it puts everything out of the road.”
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