Lambert: Petrov an inspiration

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits club captain Stiliyan Petrov is still inspiring his battling side.

Last Updated: 20/04/13 at 13:08 Post Comment

Stiliyan Petrov: Cheered each game on 19 minutes by Villa fans

Stiliyan Petrov: Cheered each game on 19 minutes by Villa fans

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits club captain Stiliyan Petrov is still inspiring his battling side as the Bulgarian midfielder continues his battle with leukaemia.

Petrov is now in remission having undergone chemotherapy following his diagnosis in March last year.

Having spent much of the last 13 months fighting his own battle away from the club, Petrov is now able to increase his presence around Villa Park and the club's Bodymoor Heath training base.

He will cheer on his team-mates from the stands when Villa face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday and Lambert, who played with Petrov at Celtic, realises the effect his inspirational captain is having.

"First and foremost it's great that he's in remission and as he said, he's going to try to live a normal life," said the Scot.

"I don't think anyone could envisage what he's been through, unless they have themselves. It puts everything in perspective.

"The 19th minute of applause (Petrov's squad number is 19) at the games is fantastic, from home and away fans.

"I've known him since he was 19 when I first played with him and never in a million years did I think anything like that would happen to him, he's such a fit lad.

"Thankfully, he's doing great. He did a little bit of work with the fitness guys the other day. It's great that he's on that road.

"When he comes into the building I'm pretty sure everyone will have a thought in their head, thinking 'my God, he's done that' about what he's been through. You wouldn't be human otherwise.

"It puts things into perspective and the lads love to see him, which is nice."

As for Petrov attending Monday's match, Lambert said: "Whether he's at the game or not, the most important thing is he's still here and he's getting through it."

Petrov will be fraternising with 'the enemy' at the match as he plans to sit with former Villa forward Ashley Young, who joined United from the Birmingham club.

"I'm going to watch the game together with Ashley Young," he told AVTV.

"He wasn't happy, but I said we're going to take something from the game. It will be exciting. The boys are looking forward to the game.

"It's a great stadium, it's Man United and you want to play games like that every week. The boys will be up for it and I hope we can get a result there.

"In today's football you never know. It is so fast, so competitive and we will go there with confidence.

"The players know it's going to be hard because Man United are a class team and they need only a couple of wins to clinch the title.

"We're aware of that, but we will go there with plenty of confidence and courage to win."

Petrov understandably believes Villa can avoid the dreaded drop from the Barclays Premier League.

"There's five games to go, I've been to see the boys this week and they're really up for it," he added.

"They're playing, creating chances and it's great to see.

"Especially from a young team. The young lads have picked up their form and are sticking to it and not giving up.

"Sometimes when you go on a bad run you just give up, but all these young boys have got stuck in."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property