Andre Villas-Boas on Aston Villa
When Villa were drawn against Spurs in the third round of the Carling Cup 3rd round it seemed we were in for cracker of a cup tie, but it seems with every day that has passed leading up to the game, the mood has dampened.
Paul Lambert who so far in his Villa reign has approached every cup game with gusto, fielding full-strength teams, has increasingly downplayed the game. He’s mentioned the importance of the weekend’s league game with Manchester City (breaking the old adage in football of taking fixtures ‘one game at a time’) and bemoaned the growing amount of injuries – from the serious (Okore, N’Zogbia, Benteke) to niggley knocks (Gabby, Gardner, Luna, Clark, Westwood, Delph). It’s unlikely Villa will field even close to their first XI.
“As long as you’re in something, you go in to win it. I am a great believer in that,” said Paul Lambert, in the pre-match presser. The question is though what kind of team will he be putting out to try to win?
Steer, Lowton, Bennett, Baker, Vlaar, Sylla, Bacuna, Tonev, Albrighton, Helenius and Kozák, should be just about the starting xi against Spurs.
On the bright side, the game will provide a chance for some of the new signings especially to have a proper run out. Marc Albrighton also will be thankful of a chance to prove he still has a future at Villa Park. As for Villa’s chances of beating Spurs, help will be at hand with Spurs also fielding a weaken line-up. Having played only 48hrs previous, Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has threaten to change his entire first XI. While Spurs have a noticeably stronger pool of players to pick from, it will at least make it more of an even contest.
Also in Villa’s favour is the fact that AVB is none too pleased about the timing of the game. Hopefully the reluctance to the tie, he expresses below will work in Villa’s favour. UTV
AVB on Villa
“Villa is a difficult game with a team on the back of the motivation of a great result against Norwich. They have some wonderfully gifted footballers coming through, still learning and that’s why I value Paul Lambert’s work even more. The amount of players he has brought through is something remarkable, with results too. They are a tough team to play against, but we will be strong and will do our best.
Villa will not have to do the same (in terms of squad rotation) as they played on Saturday, so they have had an extra day of recovery.”
AVB’s Not Happy…
“This is an impossible game for us to play, but hopefully our team spirit and motivation can get us through. It (the Capital One Cup) is not our absolute number-one priority but I don’t think we have been given a fair chance to play in this competition this year.
It could be possible for the players who played against Cardiff to play this game, but I am not sure I want to risk the players who played getting a hamstring injury which could take them six weeks to recover from when the Premier League is more important.
This team has not experienced having to play again after just two days and we have not been given the same chance as the other teams. So we will have to rotate our squad as the players who played in Cardiff will not be involved.
We are struggling a little bit with injuries but we have great strength in depth, although it is not going to be easy. It is difficult, the ideal situation for us would have been to play Wednesday. I understand the situation for the police with a number of matches being played in Birmingham, but we do not have the same chance as other teams.”
All AVB quotes from from his pre-match press conference
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