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Thursday, 17 July 2014, 19:45

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Lambert upbeat on Benteke

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is hoping to have Christian Benteke back for the New Year's Day match at Sunderland.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 23:11 Post Comment

Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker could be back at Sunderland

Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker could be back at Sunderland

Benteke has missed Villa's last three games due to a knee problem but trained on Monday ahead of the trip to Wearside.

The Belgium striker scored 23 times during a stand-out debut campaign in English football last year but has struggled for form this season.

He has scored just five goals - the last of which came in the 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle three months ago.

Lambert said: "Christian trained on Monday morning and looked okay. He feels okay within himself. The thing with Christian is he's a young guy, and people forget that.

"Everyone put this super-stardom thing on him, but he's 23 years of age.

"He's a young guy and his confidence suffers, as everyone else's does. He's back and hopefully he will do what he did at the tail-end of last season.

"This is the point where Christian scored all his goals and if he does all that, it would be great."

Villa captain and defender Ron Vlaar, who has been out for five games due to a calf injury, did some light training on Monday morning and may also make his comeback at the Stadium of Light.

Villa have lost four of their last five games but Lambert insists there is still plenty of grounds for optimism.

"We are only three points off 10th so it is not doom or gloom," Lambert said. "It's how people want to portray it. I've never been a negative person."

"If you look at the table, we are sitting in a pretty decent position. We are ahead of where we were last year.

"Ideally, we want to play better, there's no two ways about it, but it was important we stopped the sequence (of four successive defeats) on Saturday - that was absolutely paramount, that we stopped our losing run.

"We have to have everyone fit, and hopefully one or two are coming back. We are three points behind 10th, which is incredible.

"The great thing about the Swansea game was after Boxing Day (when Villa lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace) they came out and a young side did not capitulate.

"They kept going and had a great desire not to get beat. If you can't win it, it is important not to lose it."

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I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

W

e all know the British public don't have the patience to plan for 14 years. No chance. As soon as our young players don't win the world cup they get harrassed and abused to the point of mental breakdown. No, England likes to react to failure by sacking the manager and tearing up their best laid plans in favour of something shiny and new to keep the knee jerkers happy.

HarryBoulton
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

G

lad Messi was player of the tournament, there was no-one more deserving. Except Robben. And James Rodriguez. Or Muller and half the Germany team etc etc

sailingmagpie
Golden Ball award for Messi

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