Lambert labels Adkins sacking speculation as ‘ridiculous’

Ahead of the two sides' match against each other this weekend, the Aston Villa manager feels the concerns regarding the 47-year-old’s future at Southampton are "silly"

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has branded the comments on Southampton manager Nigel Adkins' future as "ridiculous".

The newly promoted side have lost their first four games in the Premier League, prompting speculation from some quarters that the manager’s job could be on the line if results do not improve soon.

However, Lambert, Adkins’ opponent at St Mary’s on Saturday, feels that this is unfair on a manager who has guided the Saints to two successive promotions.

12/1 Aston Villa are 12/1 with Bet365 to draw 2-2 with Southampton

"It's getting a bit silly now, with what he's done for them, and when it's only four games into the season, I think it's a bit ridiculous,” Lambert told reporters.  

“But football is like that - you just never know what's around the corner.

"It's getting harder and harder every year but I think that's really unfair. Nigel's done a great job at Southampton.

"In the last few years they have done fantastically well getting promoted twice.

"The Premier League is an unforgiving division. Every game is hard, whoever you are playing. It doesn't matter if it's a side in the top six or bottom six. It's a hard, hard league."

The 43-year-old boss also commented on recent signing of Christian Benteke.

The Belgium international scored against Swansea last weekend on his debut after coming off the bench and will now be pushing for a regular starting berth after joining from Genk last month, but Lambert is cautious of over-exposing the youngster to the pressure of Premier League football too soon.

"Benteke is only 21, that's what you have to remember," Lambert added. "He's only a kid and he's just starting his career.

“But his role in the last 15 minutes or so against Swansea was excellent. He came over after playing a hard game for his national team in the week, coming back and playing for us, doing what he did, was excellent.

"He's only 21 and he'll make mistakes like everybody else but I thought he was excellent.

"He'll certainly give us a hand. There's no two ways about it - he's a big presence up there and his presence alone will un-nerve a few people.”