Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | FA Cup

Paul Lambert © Action Images

Comments come back to bite Lambert



Defenders of the FA Cup's place in British football culture may claim Aston Villa's surprise home defeat by League One (third tier) Sheffield United on Saturday was poetic justice.

Villa manager Paul Lambert's pre-match suggestion that most Premier League managers would sacrifice a Cup run for league points rankled some and Villa fans were smarting after the seven-times winners were bundled out 2-1 in the third round.

"It was bitterly disappointing after a really good win on Wednesday (at bottom side Sunderland in the Premier League)," Lambert told the club's website. "To get knocked out was really frustrating. It hurts.

"Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not the happiest person when we lose. We picked a really strong side to try and get through."

Inevitably, Lambert was asked about his pre-match comments and denied he had devalued the world's oldest cup competition, which Villa won for the first time in 1887.

"I never demeaned the competition one bit. I respect the history of the competition and what the competition is about," Lambert said. "If you look at my own career, I have won some nice things through cup competitions."

"I think (in) the whole context of the interview, there was never any way I was decrying the competition at all," he added.

VILLA HURTING

"You want to try and do a good run. If you look at the League Cup last time, we picked strong teams throughout the competition. I never take them lightly.

"I said in the same interview that if you're in something, you try to win it. It's the same with every game you play.

"The lads are hurting. They have gone from the good feeling of Wednesday to the disappointment of being knocked out."

Jamie Murphy put Nigel Clough's United side ahead and, although Nicklas Helenius equalised for Villa, Ryan Flynn sealed a deserved victory for the visitors late on.

"I don't think we did enough to go through and that is me being honest," said Lambert. "Good luck to Sheffield United in the next round. We had a lot of the ball and huffed and puffed. It was one of those kind of games."

Clough, son of former Nottingham Forest manager Brian, had some sympathy for Lambert.

"I don't think he was disrespecting the FA Cup - he was just stating very honestly what the situation is like in the Premier League at the moment," he told the BBC.

"It is just a bit sad that the FA Cup, such a wonderful competition, takes a back seat but that is the reality of it."



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Why I answered Safa’s call
I am pleased to have agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Safa’s technical director for the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref right to red card Neymar
The disgraceful and childish petulance displayed by what many would consider to be one of the best...

Carol Radull
Why Harambee Stars won't go far
So, Harambee Stars lost 2-0 to Ethiopia in our Chan qualifier match on Sunday. What’s so surprising...

Clyde Tlou
Time for SA legends to step forward
A lack of ambition is hampering the South African 1996 Africa Cup of Nations legends.

Sunday Oliseh
Why Africa needs to act now
The world football landscape is facing terrible turbulent times and what shape it will be in the...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Barcelona triumph
Over the weekend FC Barcelona of Spain won their sixth Uefa Champions League trophy and their...