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Lambert backing for Benteke

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has no concerns over star striker Christian Benteke despite his recent dip in form.

Last Updated: 04/11/13 at 20:02 Post Comment

Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker saw his penalty saved against Everton

Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker saw his penalty saved against Everton

The Belgium international heads to West Ham for Saturday's Premier League clash without a goal in his last three games and after having a penalty saved in last weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Everton.

But Lambert has full confidence in the quality of a striker whose goals almost single-handedly kept Villa up last season, and insisted Benteke has not let his head drop.

The Scot said: "He's missed a couple of chances, so what?

"He'll come back and he'll score, I've got no worries with that whatsoever, I know if he gets a chance he'll score.

"There're not many times Christian doesn't score.

"I know what he's done for me, I know what he's done for the club, I know what he's done for the team.

"I wasn't going to let the odd couple of chances blight my vision of him. You pick him up, he goes again, in training he's been his normal self."

Benteke's fellow striker Andreas Weimann is also in need of a goal, having only got one so far this season, in the win over Manchester City.

Villa's reliance on the pair is evident from the fact the team have not netted in the three games since that 3-2 success over City.

They are in line to start up front together against the Hammers, with Gabriel Agbonlahor a doubt due to an ankle problem.

On Weimann, Lambert said: "I think any goalscorer would always want to score and he's no different.

"It will come, I've got no worries whatsoever, but his work-rate is important to us and his enthusiasm is important. I'm pretty sure his goals will come."

The loss to Everton, which came after Villa had dominated the opening part of the match, was a second straight home defeat following the 2-0 reverse against Tottenham.

It means the team travel to east London 13th in the table, but Lambert is unconcerned.

"I don't like getting beaten, but it's not a worry," he said. "We are a point off ninth. It's incredible the way the league is. We are playing well.

"If you look at our fixtures we've played every top (team) bar Manchester United, if you're talking about the big six. We've taken six points more than we did against the top ones (last season).

"The progress has been huge for us."

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A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
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