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Cup win could be a turning point, says Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert
8:45pm Monday 21st January 2013 in Sport
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits overcoming City in tomorrow’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg could help turn their whole season around.
Villa have to recover from losing the first leg 3-1 to the League Two side at the Coral Windows Stadium a fortnight ago. But Lambert believes reaching Wembley can also have a positive impact on Villa’s other main battle, which is Barclays Premier League survival.
Lambert said: “I don’t sense any apprehension at all. I just feel we are ready for it and we know what we have to go and do.
“I am pretty sure everyone will make us favourites to turn it around. I think everyone will do that.
“In a cup game anything can happen but, with a big pitch and a crowd behind us, hopefully we will be able to score more than we did up in Bradford.
“We had a lot of chances up at Bradford. If we can create that amount of chances, then we’ll be close.
“If we get through, the confidence will be great. The feeling around the club will be massive.
“It will be a great thing. It can definitely play a huge part in the season turning (around).”
But Lambert is aware Villa have to avoid conceding the sloppy goals from set-pieces which have proved to be their downfall - including at Bradford - in recent games.
Striker Christian Benteke has been at fault in a defensive role on more than one occasion and his slip allowed Gareth McAuley to set up Peter Odemwingie’s equaliser in the 2-2 weekend draw at West Brom.
Lambert said: “I can’t nitpick because the big guy (Benteke) has been unbelievable for us.
“What I bought him for is to put the ball in the net and you only need to look at his ratio there.
“With the goal conceded against West Brom, he has actually slipped and sometimes that can happen. I can’t be too critical of him for what he’s done.
“But you have to make sure players don’t get headers in at set-pieces.”
Lambert added: “Bradford’s form is probably not as good as they would like it to be. It can happen.
“You have a big night against someone midweek and you go and lose your next league game because it’s hard to sustain that level.
“But it’s about us tomorrow and what we do. It’s our home game and we know what we have to go and do.”
Villa striker Andreas Weimann is available after illness. Weimann scored Villa’s only goal in the first leg.
Defender Nathan Baker (hamstring) has been ruled out and midfielder Ashley Westwood is cup-tied, while Lambert will make late fitness checks on goalkeeper Shay Given (hamstring) and midfielder Fabian Delph (ankle).