Holte End can drag us to safety, says Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

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After a club record 10 league defeats at home this season Villa fans could be forgiven for turning the finale into a wake.

But with victory over Hull vital for Villa's hopes of staying in the Premier League tomorrow the claret and blue army will mobilise to drag their team to safety.

Villa are three points above the drop zone with three games left after a six-game winless streak, having lost five of their last six outings.

While the team falter, though, the backing from the terraces has remained up until now.

Villa fans launched a Get The Holte End Back appeal months ago to coincide with the weekend – the closest date of the 20th anniversary of the Holte's Last Stand, the final match before it was rebuilt to make it all-seater.

It is a happy – or unhappy – coincidence that it coincides with one of Villa's biggest matches during their four years of struggle.

Win and relegation fears will be banished, lose and the final two games at Manchester City and Tottenham next week take on a whole new meaning.

Supporters, though, have called for Paul Lambert's sacking in the last two away games – a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and Saturday's 4-1 reverse at Swansea.

But, despite the pressure, under fire Lambert has issued a passionate plea for the Holte End to help rally the troops for one final effort.


"The Holte End is massive," he said. "There aren't many ends left in football where they have the traditional singing end. Liverpool have the Kop, Villa have the Holte End and Dortmund have the Südtribüne.

"But there aren't many ends which have the hardcore and it's vital you keep that end. It's an important part of this club.

"It can be like a magnet at times. That's what we have to have tomorrow. If you ask anyone which end they want to hit into that's the end you want.

"Tomorrow is a cup final and that's basically what it boils down to. The fans will come in their thousands and they will get behind us. It's important because the lads will need that backing. I have no doubt that's exactly what they'll do."


Lambert knows he has suffered abuse, and is likely to again tomorrow, after a season of struggle as patience begins to snap almost two years into his reign.

But he understands why he is being targeted and is prepared to take responsibility again tomorrow.

He said: "You have to take it on your shoulders. It's not nice but if you're not winning or doing well there's only one thing which comes with it. It's hard to try to get through it. As long as it stays away from the players that's fine."

Lambert also confirmed the team will take a lap of appreciation at the end of the game to thank fans for their backing this term.

Leandro Bacuna has recovered from the virus which forced him off at half time in Swansea but Joe Bennett has an ankle injury.

Hull could be unchanged after their 2-2 comeback draw against Fulham.

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