Final fling would be 'phenomenal' says Villa boss Lambert

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes reaching a Wembley final this season would be an "absolutely phenomenal" achievement for his young side.

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Villa have experienced mixed fortunes so far in what is a transitional first season under the Scot, with top-flight experience at a premium in his squad.

They currently sit two places and one point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, but there remains a feel-good factor around Villa Park, not least with the team in the FA Cup fourth round and two matches away from a possible place in the Capital One Cup final.

They meet Bradford City at Valley Parade in the first leg of that semi-final tonight knowing they are heavy favourites to beat the League Two side.

Regardless of the level of opposition, though, Lambert knows reaching the final would be huge.

"For this club to get to Wembley again would be extraordinary," he said. "In a one-off game there you just never know what could happen.

"To get there I think every player would tell you would be absolutely phenomenal."

Asked whether it would surpass any of his previous achievements, the former Celtic midfielder said: "I think it would, yes. I never view it as any great achievement on my own behalf. It's the players and the fans."

Bradford are without a win in their last three games but Lambert knows they will dig in and come up with another 10% for the two-legged tie.

He said: "It (Bradford) will be a different team to the one that got beaten by Barnet at the weekend. You have to withstand that and be ready for it.

"The Bradford lads will give it everything they have got to try to turn us over. If we do what we have been doing of late and match that then we'll see what happens.

"Bradford have got nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is a two-legged affair. We'll go up there and we know it will be a really good atmosphere."

In the FA Cup last night, Everton came through unscathed in a 5-1 mauling of Cheltenham Town, while Inverness Caley have given Championship strugglers Barnsley permission to speak to manager Terry Butcher.

League One Doncaster are also reported to have asked to talk to the former Rangers and England star.


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