Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert 'could do without' FA Cup

The Scot believes that he is in the majority of Premier League managers for whom the historic competition is a distraction from the most serious business of staying up
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert claims that he is among "the majority" of Premier League managers who would be happier not having to play in the FA Cup.

The historic competition, in which the last of Villa's seven triumphs came in 1957, represents the Midlands side's only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season.

With a third-round clash with League One club Sheffield United on Saturday, however, Lambert says that his only priority is to ensure top-flight survival.

10/3 Sheffield United are 10/3 with William Hill to qualify for the FA Cup fourth round
Asked by reporters if he could do without the FA Cup, the Scot replied: "I think, if you ask the majority of them [other Premier League managers], if they're being honest I think they probably would do, yes.

"Survival in the league is vital - like ourselves, we don't have a massive squad so the points are really important and, if everybody was being honest, they'd say the same.

"That's realistic. Anybody who says different, I'm not sure they'd be telling the truth. The Premier League is the most vital thing that anybody wants to get into and we're no different.

"The cup competitions, you want to get through and we'll pick a team we think can get through, but your main one is the league.

"It's not just become about money," he continued, "because everyone wants to try and win something.

"I think success is important for your own career and, if you're a footballer, you want to try and win things but, from a football club business point of view, everybody knows the Premier League is the one everyone wants to get into and stay in because of the finances."