Boss Paul Lambert today hit back at Andre Villas-Boas and insisted Villa are not a long ball team.
The claret and blues chief has defended his style after Tottenham chief Villas-Boas labelled them direct following his side’s 4-0 League Cup win on Tuesday.
He became the second manager after Jose Mourinho to issue a veiled dig at Villa with the Chelsea boss also claiming they are one dimensional.
Villa host Manchester City tomorrow aiming to respond from Tuesday’s loss when Villas-Boas said they were “aggressive, used long balls and were direct” – something which has angered Lambert.
“That’s detrimental to say that. I don’t agree with that,” he said.
“I don’t get that, if you go and look at the stats of how many long balls Chelsea played against us I’m pretty sure we weren’t ahead of them. We don’t have the players to play long balls, we might just play a long pass but we don’t just kick it forward and hope for the best.
“We don’t have lads to go and play long, even when Christian (Benteke) plays we don’t play long. You can’t tell me we’re a big side, we’re not a big side at all. I don’t think that’s right.
“We go and try and pass it and play football the right way we try to train the way we play. We work hard to get it back and do the right things and certainly don’t kick the ball long.
“You can ask anyone here we don’t play long ball football. Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann for instance, Fabian Delph and Karim El Ahmadi, they are footballers.”
Villa are hunting their first Premier League home win of the season after last week’s 1-0 win at Norwich ended three straight defeats.
They have lost nine of their last 13 home games and won just five league outings at Villa Park since Lambert took charge last summer.
And the boss knows Villa need to end their home hoodoo to avoid another drop battle.
He added: “We have got to improve that. I don’t know how that is because we don’t set our stall out any differently.
“We’re doing it the harder way, by winning away, it’s strange but it’s something we have to put right.”