Paul Lambert today called on his players to put their bodies on the line after they suffered their second cup humiliation in the space of three days against Millwall.
The claret and blues were eliminated from the Capital One Cup by League Two Bradford City during the week and Millwall repeated the trick in an FA Cup fourth-round tie as they won 2-1 at The Den last night.
Villa were once again undone by balls into the penalty area from wide positions as Danny Shittu headed in from a corner to equalise Darren Bent’s opener before John Marquis nodded in the winner from a cross.
“You’ve got to learn from that and be prepared to get hurt in the penalty box,” said Lambert.
“We’re not prepared to be hurt for a bog-standard corner that’s come into the penalty box. That’s the disappointing thing.
“But you take your medicine, pick yourself up and go again. There's no way you can lie down.
“The blows keep coming but as I said there are two ways you deal with it. You accept it or you come out fighting. I’ll keep fighting because I am brought up that way.”
Lambert dismissed the idea that it is becoming harder for him to motivate the Villa players since their season started to unravel.
He added: “They’ve always been pretty upbeat and are not a group who go down quickly. I’ve not experienced any other way with them. I’ve not had that problem of lifting their spirits.
“We had a lot of the ball and we were not hiding. So, from that aspect, I was quite pleased. I was also a bit worried about how they would react from the other night but they went and took the ball and gave it a go. But you can’t defend set-pieces like that.”
Meanwhile Millwall boss Kenny Jackett criticised home fans that caused play to be delayed during the second half when bottles were thrown on to the pitch.
“We can't condone people throwing bottles on to the pitch. That doesn't help us," he said
“There's a line between supporting your club and creating a passionate atmosphere but we don't want to step over that line.”
Villa will find out the extent of the injury which saw Fabian Delph limp off the pitch five minutes half-time when he is assessed by the club’s medical staff later today.