Dion Dublin today insisted Aston Villa’s players must shoulder the responsibility for an “absolutely woeful” season ahead of tomorrow's clash at Reading.
Former Villa striker Dublin believes Villa boss Paul Lambert should have paired strikers Christian Benteke and the currently injured Darren Bent on a more regular basis.
He also feels there is no guarantee the club would make an instant return to the Premier League next season if they go down for the first time in more than 25 years.
Dublin said: “I will always say it’s the players who have to take the blame. The manager has a responsibility and the owner has a responsibility to spend the money wisely.
"I think the players ultimately have the full responsibility. Even when I was there at Villa with Ginola and Schmeichel and Southgate, we achieved nothing as well.
"For years and years, the Villa fans have had nothing to cheer about. They have got even less to cheer about now because the team have been absolutely woeful this season.
"It’s sad to see such a big club in such a poor position.”
Lambert has often opted to play with a single central striker in the in-form Benteke with Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor operating wide in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The Scot has always insisted his relationship with club record signing Bent has been fine, with no fall-out between the pair.
But Dublin claimed: “I thought Villa might have played Benteke and Bent both up front but there is something gone on.”