Aston Villa boss Lambert ready to scrap for survival

The Villans are in the relegation zone for the first time in two years but the Scot retains faith in his players, believing that they have the mental strength for the task ahead
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that he is ready for the scrap to stay in the Premier League.

The Villans go into Saturday's clash against Arsenal sitting in the drop zone, the first time that they have been there for two years, but the 43-year-old is adamant that he has the experience to be able to deal with the pressure involved in the game.

He told reporters: "I was fortunate I played for the big clubs because you tended to handle a lot of media stuff and pressure and all that.

"At Celtic you were probably a second away from being hopeless because of the pressure! You tend to deal with it. Celtic was absolutely brilliant for that. It really made you thick-skinned and you'd get your head down and get on with it because of the demands of the public.

"It's the same scenario as a manager but you battle through it. You try not to wilt under it, you keep going. That's why I always say the most important people at this football club are the players and the people that come and watch it."

12/1 Aston Villa are 12/1 with PaddyPower to beat Arsenal 2-1
However, Lambert is not used to fighting for survival during his career, so hopes that three points against Arsenal can reignite Villa's season.

"You certainly don't want to be where we are. It's not something that I'm used to," he admitted. "The thing for me is that the players don't lose heart and confidence. As soon as you lose that, then it becomes a major problem. I've not sensed that one bit.

"But we need to win games, including the Arsenal game. I always want to be beating the bigger teams as well. I don't look at the fixtures and say: 'Oh well, we're playing Arsenal so I'll disregard three points there'.

"I want to win and it's the same when you go and play the so-called not-so-big clubs that you want to win them."