Villa chairman Lerner permits suspension of two coaches

Former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given temporarily promoted to first team coaching staff

 Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert (left) with Chief Executive Paul Faulkner.   Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert (left) with Chief Executive Paul Faulkner. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 15:36

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has given his backing to the club’s manager Paul Lambert after the suspension of Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa this week.

Villa confirmed in a statement that assistant boss Culverhouse and head of football operations Karsa had been suspended ”pending an internal investigation”, with Gordon Cowans and goalkeeper Shay Given being temporarily promoted to assist Lambert and his first-team coaching staff.

On Villa’s official website today, Lerner said Lambert had shown “total loyalty and commitment” to the club in his handling of “some unexpected issues”, but neither Culverhouse nor Karsa were mentioned by name.

Lerner explained: “Our manager has been faced with some unexpected issues that could have very easily set the club back.

“In watching him handle matters, along with our chief executive (Paul Faulkner), I’ve seen total loyalty and commitment to Aston Villa while Gordon, a Villa man through and through, has repeatedly stepped up to support the club regardless of the ask. Shay, too, has been unhesitating in answering the manager’s call.

“I couldn’t ask for more from people who are up for this challenge and the very real obstacles we have to overcome, as is everyone at the club.”

The suspensions, which are thought to be of a disciplinary nature rather than being directly related to Villa’s recent performances, have come at a difficult time for the midlands outfit, who have lost four matches on the bounce and are still threatened by the prospect of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

In a statement issued on Monday, Faulkner admitted all staff at the club were ”hurting” and called for the Villa fans to get behind the team, with everyone “pulling together”.

In yesterday’s announcement, Lambert was only quoted as expressing his delight at having Cowans and Given to assist him and stressing that “the whole group” are focused on Saturday’s home clash with Southampton.

Cowans, who served previously as first team coach and won the European Cup as a Villa player, said: “When the manager asked me to step up I didn’t hesitate. This is a challenge we face and we face it together as a club.

“From now until the end of the season we need 100 per cent commitment from everybody and I know we’ll get this.”

Given, the holder of a Uefa A License, said: “The players are desperate to succeed here and to secure the results we need between now and the end of the season. There’s real belief, too, which has always been there.

“Any club can go through trying periods but the most important thing for me is the football club. The football club will always be here and that’s why it’s the most important thing, so we all know our responsibilities.

“We all know that we can get the results we’re looking for and I had no doubts in my mind whatsoever the moment the manager asked me to step up.”

Villa are four points clear of the relegation zone with five games left to play this term.


Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.