Football - Lambert: The kids are alright

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will continue to put the accent mainly on youth as he challenged his players to bounce back from the "hurt" of three successive heavy defeats at Swansea on New Year's Day.

PA Sport

Villa have conceded 15 goals in losing to Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan and are only one point above the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

Lambert splashed out nearly £23 million last summer on rebuilding the squad after two successive battles against relegation.

He would welcome the return of some of the senior players sidelined through injury which includes skipper Ron Vlaar, strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent and winger Charles N'Zogbia.

But Lambert still sees young and hungry players as the main route to go down and believes long term they will reap the benefits of their current experiences.

When asked if relying on youth means a lack of natural leaders, Lambert said: "That's the decision I've made. The football club has been in relegation battles for the last few years.

"This isn't just new on them because they've been in it for a few years.

"It's something we are trying to rectify in a different way and we will still go that way.

"A more experienced team than we have right now has flirted with relegation the last few years."

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