Aston Villa manager has called on Christian Benteke to contribute more to the struggling side, the Daily Telegraph has reported, Lambert adding that the striker is aware of his struggle and eager to turn his form around.
Villa have managed only 11 goals in 23 Premier League games, with Benteke netting twice in the league and once in the FA Cup in his 16 appearances for the Midlands club. Villa meet league leaders Chelsea this weekend as Lambert’s side seek to end their run of more than 10 hours without a league goal, a mark passed in their last outing, a 5-0 defeat at Arsenal.
“Christian knows that things aren’t going his way and we’re working hard to get it right,” Lambert said. “I’ve spoken to him about it and we’ve got to protect him. He’s had a loss of form but he’s only human and because of the impact he had in his first season, everybody notices it.
“He’s not stupid and he knows he’s had a dip in form,” he continued. “This will make him stronger and he’s having a slump that all strikers have. If he can get back to what he was, he’s unplayable when he’s bang on his game.”
Lambert added that while Benteke isn’t guaranteed to play against Chelsea, he hasn’t made a decision over whether or not to persist with the Belgium international, who scored 11 times in 28 games last season – a campaign that ended early due to a serious injury – and 23 times in 39 games the year before, his first at Villa Park.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Aston