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

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Footer 365

European qualifiers: Chris Coleman names Wales squad and backs young guns to shine

Wales coach Chris Coleman has backed his younger players to shine in the absence of star duo Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.

Europa League: Police Scotland have warned Celtic fans not to sell on match tickets

Police have warned Celtic fans not to sell tickets to Dinamo Zagreb supporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie.

England: Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs can become next Ashley Cole

Arsene Wenger believes Kieran Gibbs can follow Ashley Cole's example and become England's first choice left-back.

Mail Box

It Was Better When City Were Rubbish

'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...

Do City Really Need To Expand Their Stadium?

That's the question posed by one Man United fan in the mailbox after seeing the empty seats at the Etihad last night. Sadly, there isn't a single mail from a City supporter...

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