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Lambert fires warning to Bantams

Paul Lambert has warned Bradford 'you don't count your chickens' ahead of Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Villa Park.

Last Updated: 22/01/13 at 07:30

Paul Lambert: Feels comments were disrespectful

Paul Lambert: Feels comments were disrespectful

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Aston Villa manager Lambert will be hoping Bradford have cause to regret any "disrespect" shown by one of their employees when the sides meet again.

League Two outfit Bradford will take a 3-1 advantage from the first meeting at Valley Parade into the return clash in front of a capacity 43,000 crowd.

But Lambert was not over impressed after being told City stadium announcer Paul Deo had suggested Bradford fans consider booking hotel rooms for the final at Wembley in the aftermath of their victory.

It has prompted Deo to this evening issue an apology if he has caused any offence to the Premier League club.

When initially told of Deo's comments said, Lambert said: "I never heard that. But we'll see what happens. If he said that, then maybe it's a bit disrespectful.

"You don't count your chickens. No you don't. Football's got a great habit of kicking you somewhere.

"It's disrespectful to do that. We'll see what happens after the game.

"Maybe you can understand him getting carried away, because it was their big moment.

"It was their home game. But it's disrespectful to do that to other teams."

Deo, a vicar, said: "There was absolutely no disrespect meant. It was never meant to sound like some sort of jibe, and there was no intention to be in any way smug or over confident.

"I certainly did not say 'book your hotels'. What I said was that, though it was only 'half-time' in the semi-final tie and it was far from over, Bradford fans 'could be forgiven for having a look at hotel rooms in London'.

"It was all simply part of the feeling of that amazing sense of almost unbelievable celebration - little Bradford City actually have the chance to play at Wembley in a major final!

"It was certainly not intended to be in any way disrespectful to Aston Villa, to Paul Lambert, or to Villa's staff, players or fans. If it came over that way, then I can only apologise. But there was certainly nothing like that deliberately intended.

"As a club we have not been in this situation before. We were excited and what I said I said totally in that 'moment of celebration' context."

Lambert admits the defeat against the Bantams was the low point of the campaign, but he has urged his players to seize the opportunity to play at Wembley as the chance may never arise again.

He said: "Chelsea (the 8-0 defeat) was really low obviously because of the beating.

"But I think because of what happened and who we were playing - and that's no disrespect to Bradford - that was really, really low.

"There is the possibility of getting to Wembley and, the thing is, you might never get there again.

"In football you just don't know what's around the corner. You have to grab this chance because you just don't know when this could happen again.

"The best players make sure that they grab the chance. In football you can't have any regrets because you'll look back over your career and think 'I should have' and 'if only'.

"The ones who actually succeed are the ones who do it and seize the chances."

Lambert expects his players to be determined to make amends for the "hurt" they felt after the first leg setback.

He said: "I don't think you can use the word revenge. But the players were hurt by what happened.

"They know they've got the chance to rectify it and get through. It could be a fantastic night.

"Bradford will know themselves that two goals is easily retrievable, easily.

"The whole thing changes now. They've got the lead they got. But I've got a feeling with the way the stadium will be and the way we're going at the moment, then it'll be a different game.

"We're playing at our home ground, we have to use that advantage."

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