Lambert comes out fighting
Soccer:Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has no intention of throwing in the towel despite his seeing his side dumped out of the League Cup semi-finals at the hands of lowly Bradford City last night. Bradford outfit overcame Villa 4-3 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1 at Villa Park.
Former shelf-stacker James Hanson scored the decisive second-leg goal to set up a final meeting with either Swansea or Chelsea. Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann netted for Villa with Lambert admitting afterwards his side had thrown away a golden chance to reach Wembley.
He said: “I am absolutely gutted, disappointed, hurt, everything. Everyone is hurt. You will never have a better chance to get to a cup final throughout your whole career, even the young lads. It may take them 10 or 12 years to get even close to one again. That’s the hurt.
“I am every bit as hurt as what the fans are. It’s my responsibility. I know exactly what it’s like and I know exactly what they’re feeling because I am feeling the exact same.”
Bradford fans chanted ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ but Lambert is adamant he remains the right man for the job of rebuilding Villa. He said: “Am I still the man for Villa? Yes, absolutely. When you ask managers that, they will tell you they just get on with it. Until you hear anything different you have to run with it.
“There are two ways — you either lie down and take it or you come out fighting. I am certainly not going to lie down.”
Lambert was reluctant to talk about the need to bring in new players before the transfer window closes. He added: “I will talk about the game. I don’t want to talk about January or players coming in. I know the situation of it. I know what’s happening.”
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson believes his players will go down in history in the same way as the club’s 1911 FA Cup-winning side after they reached the final. Parkinson said: “We said to the lads before that there was a chance to make history but, while we knew that, we had to focus on the key elements in the game to get us there.
“I felt we certainly did that in the second half. These lads will be remembered in the history of Bradford City for years to come. There’s a 1911 lounge at the club to celebrate the cup victory of that year. Well, in years to come, there will be a lounge named after this cup run and these players because of what they’ve achieved.”