Paul Lambert: Double header is massive for Villa
Boss Paul Lambert today claimed Aston Villa's next two matches against Reading and Queens Park Rangers have become "massive" after another night of frustration.
Villa failed to build on a bright start against Manchester City and punished for a defensive error by Ciaran Clark which allowed Carlos Tevez to bag the winner just before half-time.
The defeat left Villa languishing in the Premier League relegation zone ahead of a trip to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and the visit of QPR seven days later.
"The next two games are massive for us. If we play like that, we will give teams a fright that's for sure. If we keep playing like that, we will stay up," said Lambert.
"Now we have to pull through, but I can't fault the lads for their application and the way they went to win the game against City.
"We have been playing well in the last few months without getting the rewards we deserve. We were in the game for long periods. We come away with heads held high.
"Now we will go into those games with confidence. It's different when you come away from games having been done heavily. You have to dust yourself down and carry on, you have to move on to the next one."
Fabian Delph will miss both fixtures after he picked up his 10th booking of the season and Lambert conceded it will be a blow to lose the tough-tackling midfielder.
"He's playing extremely well, really well. You are pressing forward, to try and get a goal back and things like that happen with Fabian getting booked," said Lambert.
"I was surprised when I came here and found out how many training days he's done, he's not trained many times since he's been here.
"To get him to do that is a big thing for him, with the injuries he's had. His level of performance in games is extremely high."
Villa should have skipper Ron Vlaar back for the trip to Reading after he missed last night's game with a calf injury which also kept him out of the defeat to Arsenal.
Lambert added: "Hopefully Ron will be okay for Saturday. He wasn't too far off it, still a bit early. But hopefully we will see how this week comes and he will be okay."
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