Aston Villa starlet Delph: Referees are soft but I have to change my ways

The Villans youngster admits he needs to alter his approach as he picked up his 10th booking of the season to leave him suspended for the struggling side's next two games
Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph believes he is the victim of "soft" refereeing from officials, but admits he must change his ways after picking up a two-game ban for receiving his 10th yellow card of the campaign.

The 23-year-old was cautioned in injury time during his side's 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Monday night, which means he will be ruled out of crucial games against fellow relegation battlers Reading and QPR.

With Paul Lambert's side sitting in 18th place with 24 points from 28 games, Delph believes all of his carded challenges have been fair ones - but says his actions have let both his team-mates and himself down at a vital time.

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"It's a huge blow to miss [the Reading and QPR games]. I am disappointed," he told reporters. "I don't think it was a yellow card [against City].

"It's my 10th booking, I think I deserved three. I think I have won the ball in all of the yellow cards I've received this season.

"The way I like to play the game, I like to be competitive and there are a lot of players who play that way.

"It is a dying breed now. Football is a lot more technical and a bit more sensible. Refs have got a bit soft and it's something I'll look to curb. The game has changed and obviously I've got to change.

"I have got to look at myself and I have let myself down. There are midfielders in the team who can step in and do a job, if not do a better job. I am sure the team won't miss me too much."

Delph suggests, while he will work on becoming a more considered tackler, he will not do so to the detriment of the rest of his game as he wants to keep improving as an all-round player.

"I'm not daft, I do have a think about stuff that I need to work on. Not just tackling, every area of my game," he added.

"It's not something I am going to write in capital letters and focus on that because if I do that, then other areas of my game will suffer. I will always compete and try to minimise the yellow cards a bit."